This city and other areas in Mindanao will not be left out in the national government’s vaccination program for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), which is expected to start in the coming days.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles gave this assurance here on Saturday in the wake of the scheduled delivery Sunday of the first batch of Sinovac Biotech’s vaccines committed by the Chinese government.
Nograles said he will make sure that the city, which was earlier identified as among the pilot areas in the country for the Covid-19 vaccination, and the rest of Mindanao, will get their fair share of the vaccines.
He urged local government units (LGUs) in the area to help convince the public about the importance of the vaccines and getting properly inoculated.
He lamented there are still many people who are having doubts about the Covid-19 vaccines mainly due to fears on their safety.
“It is the only way for us right now to protect our families and communities from this disease,” he told reporters.
Nograles, who was here for the city’s 82nd foundation anniversary and culmination of the week-long 32nd Kalilangan Festival, advised LGUs to also scale up their preparations for the rollout of the vaccines.
He reiterated that the vaccination will prioritize the health and medical front-liners since they are the once at greater risk of exposure and considered as the “first line of defense” of communities against the disease.
Nograles said most LGUs have completed the masterlist of the priority individuals and are only waiting for the arrival of the vaccines.
“Hopefully, the other vaccines like Pfizer and AstraZeneca will also be delivered soon so we can go full-scale with the vaccination program,” he said.
Nograles graced the simple wreath-laying ceremony at the monument of the city’s founder, Gen. Paulino Santos, and the culmination of its foundation anniversary celebration and Kalilangan Festival on Saturday afternoon.
The local government shifted anew to the digital celebration of the annual festival due to the pandemic.
He lauded the city for pushing through with the festival and finding innovative ways to celebrate its rich culture and traditions under the new normal. (PNA)