The Cebu City Vaccination Advisory Board over the weekend bared its decision to rollout vaccination among senior citizens by 19 April 2021.
City vice mayor Michael Rama, lead convenor of the city’s vaccination program, said that plans were being polished, particularly regarding the schedule.
“We do not want this to be open to all. There should be a specific schedule. I would want it that there should be clear identified barangays,” he said.
Presently, there are now 27,000 of the more than 90,000 senior citizens that have already registered for the city’s vaccination program.
However, Rama clarified that beneficiaries of the free vaccines will be informed regarding their schedules as not all barangays could be accommodated in a day.
Mayor Edgardo Labella said there were 600 vials left of the Sinovac vaccine and these would be allocated to the remaining unvaccinated healthcare workers who will be willing to be vaccinated and to the senior citizens.
He added that vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. has assured additional vaccines for Cebu City or portion of the 500,000 vaccines that arrived recently from China.
On 15 April, the Vaccines Operations Center of the city reported 400 excess doses as only few healthcare workers turned out to be inoculated at the Robinson Galleria.
For the senior citizens’ vaccination, it will be conducted in identified vaccination sites, contrary to the original plan of conducting these at hospitals.
However, hospitals have committed to help provide manpower to the vaccination program.
The city government has yet to identify the vaccination sites for senior citizens, but it will announce further details in the coming days.
Cebu City continues to rely on the vaccine allocation from the national government despite having P400 million funds for vaccine purchase.
Labella said that to save city funds, they would wait for the national allotment to run out before procuring more vaccines.
He justified that in this way, the money would only be spent when absolutely needed.
“If it will not be enough to cover the 70 percent of the population of the city, then we will have to supply the rest,” Labella said.