ILOILO City – The Iloilo provincial government aims to administer 183,159 COVID vaccines, or 61,053 jabs daily, during its three-day Bayanihan Bakunahan Part II, which will be held from December 15 to 17.
The areas with the highest targets for this round include the towns of Oton, Lambunao, Miagao, Carles, Tigbauan, Janiuay, Dumangas, Ajuy, and Calinog, as well as Passi City.
Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. on Wednesday, December 8, issued a memorandum to city and municipal mayors to pre-register participants and provide incentives to increase coverage.
The memorandum also forms the Brigada Bakuna in partnership with the Department of Education-Division of Iloilo. The goal is to select “strategic” high schools where minors and their families could be vaccinate during the distribution of self-learning modules.
In his regular press conference on Thursday, December 9, Defensor said that the idea for the new pediatric vaccination strategy came from the regular and Bayanihan Bakunahan COVID vaccination figures.
“Last time, during after the first Bayanihan Bakunahan, we thought that maybe we could focus on our secondary students, high school students, our pediatric population ages 12 to 18 together with their family members. That is why Brigada Bakuna is supposed to be the cousin of Brigada Eskwela,” the governor explained.
The province is also addressing the dearth of volunteer vaccinators for the 3-day blitz, as well as regular deployment for the regular COVID vaccinations, Defensor said.
The national government had promised additional vaccines, supplies, and possible personnel, he added.
“The Civil Defense Cluster is actively campaigning to our private sector partners, because there may have been others who may not have been invited before, like hospitals and other healthcare-related institutions. The goal is, by Friday [December 9] or early next week, we could have increased volunteers so that we can also increase our output,” the governor said.
The province will continue to deploy encoders from various departments to the municipalities, “bringing with them their hardware so we can help the local levels,” said Defensor.
The governor said there is no final decision on incentives, but promised to support local government units with needs related to increasing coverage.
“In incentivizing, others would be in the form of goods. I cannot say anything with finality, we will talk to the mayors through platforms first. Other towns have already been incentivizing, so we will see what is there, and the provincial government will just add from there,” he said.
Iloilo Provincial Health Office (IPHO) data showed that only total of 137,555 individuals were vaccinated during the first round of Bayanihan Bakunahan, which was only 41% of the 338,716 total target.
Data from the IPHO also indicated that a total of 931,542 or 64% of Iloilo province’s target population received at least their first dose, and 564,630 or 39% have been fully vaccinated. – Rappler.com
Joseph B.A. Marzan is a Visayas-based journalist from Iloilo City and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.