COVID-19 vaccines

Officials urge IATF to triple Cagayan de Oro’s daily COVID-19 vaccine supply

Herbie Gomez

Residents line up to get tested at a COVID-19 facility in Cagayan de Oro.

Herbie Gomez

Cagayan de Oro officials ask for thrice the daily supply of COVID-19 vaccines due to a surge in cases

Cagayan de Oro officials on Wednesday, May 19, sought to triple the city’s daily supply of COVID-19 vaccines as city hall prepares to increase its inoculation capacity to 5,000 daily in the coming weeks.

Mayor Oscar Moreno appealed to “vaccine czar” Carlito Galvez to substantially increase the city’s vaccine allocation.

Cagayan de Oro Second District Representative Rufus Rodriguez said he also wrote to Health Secretary Francisco Duque lll and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who jointly head the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), and asked them to increase the daily vaccine supply of the city, which saw a sudden surge in infections in May.

Mayor Moreno said city hall has been vaccinating an average of 1,200 to 1,500 people daily, and the local government aims to increase the number to more than thrice that.

“We need to level up our vaccination pace to at least 5,000 a day, and this is a tall order,” Moreno told Rappler.

Moreno ordered the city hall’s vaccination team to “work on that ambitious target” in anticipation of an increase in the country’s vaccine supply by the third quarter.

The preparation includes assigning more doctors and nurses to help in the inoculations, and increasing the number of vaccination venues in the city, Moreno said.

Deputy Speaker Rodriguez said he was alarmed because of a 75% increase in COVID-19 cases in the city in recent weeks.

“The IATF needs to give Cagayan de Oro additional vaccines on top of its normal allocation,” he said.

Rodriguez called on local health officials to determine where the new cases originated, and for city hall to tighten border controls and enforcement of health protocols.

“Our hospital system is being burdened with the rising number of admissions of COVID-19 patients,” said Moreno.

As of Tuesday, May 18, Cagayan de Oro counted 85 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the city’s active cases to 954, the highest so far since the pandemic broke out last year. The city also topped the list of areas in northern Mindanao with the most number of COVID-19 infections.

The City Health Office said there were 274 people confined in various public and private hospitals in the city due to COVID-19, and 54 of them are from other places in northern Mindanao. –