Davao City reaches out to sectors to address anti-Covid vax hesitancy

In an effort to address the hesitancy on anti-Covid vaccination, the Davao City government continues to reach out to various sectors through consultations, especially in far-flung areas, following the successful talk with religious leaders, members of Indigenous People groups on Monday at Barangay Magsaysay Gym, Marilog District.

Public Safety and Security Command Center head Angel Sumagaysay in an interview with the City Information Office said that among the major takeaway of the consultation was the need for a proper explanation on the benefits of the anti-COVID-19 vaccines. This information gap was properly addressed by the City Health Office (CHO) Vaccination Cluster through the Doctor Joy Villafuerte and the Marilog District Health Officer. Following the successful consultation, a vaccination drive was scheduled for November 19, 2021.

Barangay Magsaysay, according to Sumagaysay, is an area with poor mobile phone signal, and their primary source of information is radio. They found that the majority of the constituents in the area listen to programs that advocate against vaccination.

“Napasabot naman nato kay ang punto kaganina nga nakita nato is ang mga tao wala gyud, walay nag-isplekar sa ila, ilang nadunggan lang sa radio (We already explained to them, and we really saw that no one explained to them, they merely relied on what they heard on the radio),” Sumagaysay said.

Through the consultation, Sumagaysay said that they also found that church leaders cannot also properly explain to the people about the vaccine, and how it affects them. He said they tapped the church leaders to help in the vaccination campaign because “sila gyud ang naay pinaka-vital role nga ma-disseminate ang programa sa gobyerno mahitungod sa vaccination (they also have the vital role in the disseminating the programs of the government),”

The gathering was attended by leaders from seven religious groups, Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR), tribal leaders, Datus, Bagani Forces, City Health Office Vaccination Cluster, Marilog District Health Officer, Punong Barangay, and his council, National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) Provincial Officer, a representative from City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), Marilog Police Station, Representative of Office of Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte and representative from 3rd Infantry Division.

Another consultation is scheduled within the week in another barangay for wider information dissemination

Earlier, Davao City Mayor Inday Sara mentioned during her Special Hours with Mayor Inday Sara program that they are looking for individuals who are not going to the vaccination sites and who are in need of further orientation and be given a question and answer portion related to the vaccines.

This consultation, on top of the city’s public vaccination, mobile vaccination, door-to-door vaccination, and drive-thru vaccination, is a move to reach target population protection by the end of the month

Mayor Sara said that the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has reminded the chief executives to fast track the local government’s vaccination drive to reach 16,695 vaccinations per day. She said that the city right now is catering 10,000-12,000 vaccinations per day and must keep up with the daily target to achieve herd immunity.

The city as of the latest data has vaccinated 909,149 individuals for first dose which is equivalent to 69.94 percent of target population for herd immunity, and 836,122 individuals administered with second dose which is equivalent to 64.32 percent of target population for herd immunity.

The city aims to inoculate 1,299,895 or 70 per cent of the population by the end of the month.

Mayor Inday attributed the low number of cases as well as the zero critical and high-risk barangays for the week, to the massive vaccination rollout of the city. CIO