The Baguio City Health Services Office (BCHSO) has cited the best practices that helped the city not only achieve but even surpass its coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination target.
Based on the report of the BCHSO posted by the Public Information Office, as of January 17, the city has exceeded its self-imposed goal of 95 percent after achieving 95.43 percent, with 268,168 individuals receiving the full doses out of the 281,000 eligible population.
Also, 288,385 have received at least one dose of the vaccines, while 60,122 have also received booster shots.
In a phone interview on Monday, Aileen Refuerzo, chief of the city’s public information office, cited equity where health workers and senior citizens were given priority in the vaccination program.
She also mentioned teamwork, which meant the whole of government, society, and all sectors approach was emphasized in terms of reliable vaccine supply from the national government to the local, purchase of vaccines by the city, vaccine loan policy by private to government, manpower augmentation from different sectors, vaccination sites offered by different government and private establishments and the available cold chain management-related equipment and supplies managed by both national and local governments.
She added that increased availability of vaccines through the mobile vaccination program for home-bound clients, outreaches in the community, market, churchgoers, transport groups, workplace including all public and private schools, nursing homes, and isolation facilities also contributed to effectively reached all sectors — even the immobile individuals who cannot go to the vaccination sites.
Refuerzo said policy support was also instrumental in the success of the inoculation program.
This includes the information technology support through the BIDA (Baguio Inoculation Digital App) website to monitor vaccination uptake, breakthrough infections, validate vaccination record; demand generation activities through quad-media campaign; issuance of the resolution, administrative order, and advisories in support of vaccination; allocation of financial resources to hire additional manpower, food for vaccinators, overtime pay of staff, and creation of an organizational structure of the vaccination program with roles and function of each member clearly defined.
Refuerzo likewise cited the cooperation of the local residents as a huge contributing factor to the success of the city’s vaccination program.
“Mula nung nagsimula ang pandemic nakita naman natin dito sa Baguio ang cooperation ng bawat isa kaya madali tayong nakaka-implement ng program, nakita rin natin sa vaccination yan (since the start of the pandemic, we saw how people in Baguio cooperated which allowed us to implement our programs. The same is evident in the vaccination activities),” she said.
Aside from achieving more than a 95 percent vaccination rate for the adult population, the city also reported that 69.42 percent or 29,722 of the 42,811 eligible pediatric population have received the complete doses of the vaccine.
Refuerzo said as of the first week of January, the city government has recorded and released Quick Response or QR codes to about 5,000 children aged 5 to 11 years old who have already registered.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong said in earlier interviews that they hoped that the vaccination for the younger age group will start by the middle of February.
The vaccination for all eligible persons here is continuing daily in barangay and district health centers including the mega-vaccination sites with schedules regularly posted on the social media pages of the city government. (PNA)