December 10, 2022

It will take five more months before a sizable number of eligible individuals in Baguio would be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said Monday the city government is eyeing to vaccinate at least 60 percent, or around 114,000,  of the 190,000 eligible population by November this year. 

But this is far from the target of the City Health Services Office which set at 70 to 80 percent of its estimate population of 378,538 as of 2021 to be able to achieve herd immunity.

But Magalong is confident that as more vaccines arrive in the Philippines, the pace of vaccination will also increase. By June, the city government is expecting the delivery of 76,000 assorted brands of vaccines to be delivered by the national government. 

In anticipation of the increase in number of vaccinees in the coming months, the mayor expects that the CHSO has shortened vaccination procedures; has established additional mega vaccination sites; and has recruited more volunteers to be deployed at the new vaccination areas. 

Based on the time and motion study, the mayor said one vaccinee takes about 22 minutes to finish the entire vaccination procedure. To speed up the process, Magalong said some procedures such as the audio-video presentation and the 30 minutes to one hour observation period have been eliminated.

Areas targeted as additional mega vaccination sites are at the Baguio Country Club and at Mt. Carmel Montessori at Dizon Subdivision. 

Magalong stressed the need for those who are eligible to be vaccinated as protection from acquiring the worse effects of the Covid-19. 

He suspects the constant high number of infections recorded in the city for the past several months is due to the presence of variants that have not been detected because of the limited capability of the Philippine Genome Center. 

The Covid-19 variants are said to have higher transmissibility. 

“We are looking at the link analysis on the exponential rise in cases and we feel na hindi na lang ito ‘yung ordinary variant. Baka marami na ang na-infect (of the new variants) hindi lang natin alam,” Magalong said. 

Meanwhile, the Baguio Public Information Office reported there is now a high demand for vaccines in Baguio compared to when the campaign was starting when the public hesitated to be vaccinated. 

“People now appear to have the sense of desperation for vaccines,” City Health Officer Rowena Galpo said.

Galpo considered the high demand a breakthrough in the communication campaign of the CHSO, the Department of Health and partners. 

As of May 23, DOH records show that of the 48,725 vaccines allotted for Baguio, 28,798 have been vaccinated of the first dose; 8,997 for the second dose or a utilization rate of 77.68 percent. – Rimaliza A. Opiñaa