PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF AA SURVEYS in Western Visayas show low demand for Covid-19 vaccines.
Department of Health-Western Visayas (DoH-6) classified Bacolod as the most prepared among provincial and city governments in the region in terms of vaccine rollout preparations.
Bacolod and the provinces of Iloilo and Capiz submitted their vaccination plans but according to Dr. Mary Jane Roches Juanico, head of the DoH-6 infectious disease cluster, the highly urbanized city is most ready.
“We have ongoing review and readiness assessment. As of 23 February, among areas in Region 6, the highest in readiness is Bacolod City at 75.9 percent,” she said in a virtual presser.
Capiz obtained 53.4 and Iloilo 43 percent.
The readiness rating was based on planning, budgeting, prioritization and targeting; cold chain, logistics and ancillary supplies; delivery capacity; surveillance response; and demand generation activity.
Juanico lauded all local government units, citing their “struggle” in demand and prioritization.
“In recent surveys conducted by various partners, we have high vaccine hesitancy not only from the general public but from our eligible priority population as well. Our current focus is on healthcare workers,” she said.
Among the strategies the DoH will employ are meetings with healthcare facilities and partners and consultation with various groups.
The agency will also gather testimonials of Ilonggo health workers in other countries so they can share their experiences after availing of Covid-19 vaccines.
“We have started coordinating with groups, especially those in the US and Europe, like in the United Kingdom,” she said.
Health education and promotion officer Darlene de la Peña said they will solicit support from their counterparts in the city and municipal levels, information officers, disaster risk reduction and management officers and village representatives for the demand generation campaign.
Demand generation drive aims to make the general public “understand and feel confident in the government’s approach to roll out Covid-19 vaccines” and to “rely on government platforms as the authoritative source of information.”
As of 25 February, Western Visayas still has 1,099 active Covid-19 cases. Antique has the least number of infections with eight.
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