BACK TO WORK. Zamboanga City Mayor John Dalipe (right), who earlier contracted the  coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), returns to work Monday (Aug. 8, 2022) after testing negative for Covid-19 on Sunday (Aug. 7). Dalipe called on all city government officials and employees to get vaccine boosters and be good examples to residents. (Photo courtesy of Zamboanga CIO)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Mayor John Dalipe is urging city government officials and employees to set as good examples to residents by getting vaccine boosters shots.

Dalipe issued the call as he returned to work on Monday after testing positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on August 2.

Dalipe was set to join other city mayors in a meeting with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in Malacañang on the same day when his swab test result showed he was infected with Covid-19.

He already tested negative for the disease on Sunday.

“The booster dose will give everyone an added layer of protection against Covid-19,” said Dalipe, who is also a registered nurse.

He noted that only 168,734 individuals, representing 24.8 percent of the 679,976 fully vaccinated residents, have received their first dose since the vaccine booster rolled out here in November last year.

Data from the City Health Office (CHO) also indicated that only 7,311 of the 168,734 boosted residents got their second vaccine booster shot.

The Department of Health launched on July 26 the PinasLakas campaign, which aims to increase the number of Filipinos given Covid-19 booster shots to help maintain the country's wall of immunity.

The CHO has so far administered 1,546,900 doses of Covid-19 vaccines—690,879 are first doses while 679,976 are second doses—since the vaccination program rolled out here.

Based on the DOH-set target population of 627,340, the city is now 110 percent partially vaccinated, and 108 percent fully vaccinated. (PNA)