Following the success of the first National Vaccination Days that produced impressive numbers, the city government of Bacolod is once again ready to take on the challenge as the second leg of “Bayanihan Bakunahan” kicks-off on December 15 to 17.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said in an interview on ANC’s “Dateline Phlippines” Saturday hosted by Raine Musngi that the local government, together with the Emergency Operations Center-Task Force (EOC-TF), is prepared to extend the vaccination efforts of the national government and closes its reach towards herd immunity before the year ends.
Leonardia also assured that the city has enough vaccines for the three-day campaign.
“As far as Bacolod is concerned, we have no problem with the (vaccine) supplies. We and the 25 city-members of the LCP were able to join a multi-party agreement where AstraZeneca secures us of a certain volume,” Leonardia said.
Aside from the bulk of supplies provided by the national government and AstraZeneca, some cities received vaccines from private sectors that are “aggressive or financially-capable,” he added.
‘WE TARGET EVERYBODY’
When asked by Musngi on who will be the recipients of the second “Bayanihan Bakunahan,” Leonardia explained that the city aims to expand the vaccination program to far-flung areas, especially to those where there are still a number of unvaccinated residents.
“We will target everybody. We started by vaccinating the adults, then moved to 12 to 17 years old and then we offered boosters,” said the mayor, adding that Bacolod accepted walk-ins and tapped one Jollibee outlet to serve as a 24/7 vaccination site.
The city’s VAX-i buses were also mobilized to cater to jeepney and tricycle drivers and BPO agents who are working on graveyard shifts.
“If Mohammed cannot go to the mountain, let the mountain go to Mohammed. If the people cannot go to vaccination centers, we make the vaccination centers go the people,” Leonardia stated.
EOC-TF Executive Director Em Ang and Deputy for Medical data and analysis Dr. Chris Sorongon both said that they are looking to reach thickly populated areas in the city with the help of barangay captains and establish purok and hacienda caravans.
City Health Office OIC Dr. Edwin Miraflor, Jr., meanwhile pointed that they are targeting to administer 6,000 Covid-19 vaccines during the second leg of NVD.
With Bacolodnons already having an open mind about the benefits of being vaccinated, Leonardia thanked the local media and barangay leaders in helping the city educate and inform residents.
This, too, became instrumental when Bacolod breached its Day One target during the first NVD.
There are, however, some who are still afraid to get jabbed.
“I think it’s a question of people being aware now. I would always argue with people in the barangays and tell them that we already had vaccinated more than 366,000 and they are still alive, including me,” Leonardia said.
The mayor also expressed his confidence that Bacolod could reach herd immunity by Christmas time or Christmas day and reiterated Dr. Sorongon’s previous statement that the city had no expired vaccines during the initial phase of the NVD.
With 86.76 percent of its target population having already received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 69 percent are fully vaccinated, Leonardia reminded residents not to be complacent even if the city is now under Alert Level 2 due to the steady decline of Covid cases.
“It just shows that people want to go back to the new normal. Covid is still here and we still need to be protected. Get vaccinated, wear your face masks and always observe social distancing.”*