Yesterday morning my two minor kids without comorbidities finally received their first jab against COVID-19. It took a little longer than my wife and I hoped it would, but a few days’ difference doesn’t really matter after all we have been through over the course of this pandemic that made worse by our government’s lackluster response symbolized by the ineffective face shield we are still forced to wear up to now.
While I am hopeful that writing about our failed vaccination experience in my hometown of Silay somehow opened eyes and made things better for those lining up for vaccines in my hometown, we continued exploring all opportunities to have our kids jabbed. Like most parents, we didn’t care where our kids were going to get jabs. The only important thing was how soon.
One vaccination opportunity that opened up for us was through our kids’ school in Bacolod City, which, as statistics showed, was conducting a slightly more aggressive vaccination drive than our LGU. Being qualified by virtue of being enrolled students, we naturally took the opportunity and signed up.
I don’t know if things have changed for the better in Silay, as I am hopeful that our disappointing experience was just a result of first-day hiccups and not a symptom of a festering sickness in my beloved hometown’s vaccination drive; but attending the orientation of the school-based vax drive showed a marked difference in the attitudes of the vaccinators.
It was obvious throughout the Zoom orientation that was held last Friday what the priorities of the vax drive was. The vaccination team was there to jab as many minor-aged students and even their household members as possible. They didn’t care about original PSA documents. Photocopies were fine, which was a bummer on our part because my wife had secured multiple original copies of that precious document on the first workday after being penalized for failing to own at least one.
On a side note, she is glad to announce that getting a PSA document at its Bacolod office can be achieved quite easily, within a couple of hours.
The gist of the orientation was that the USLS + Bacolod City vax drive people were generally willing to bend over backwards just so they can vaccinate as many qualified students and companions who were going to be there at the site to receive the jab. The answer to almost every rational question being asked was: if we can, we will. No wonder the city is regularly topping nationwide charts ever since the minor vaccination drive was rolled out.
Yesterday morning we went to the mall early to get the kids jabbed and got to witness how the vax team walked the talk. We spent an around an hour and a half at the vax site and walked out with two first dosed kids. It was a generally painless, almost robotic process and aside from that part when we decided to try to push our luck to see if we could get Moderna shots instead of Pfizer, we didn’t even have to talk to the manager. Although we weren’t able to snag Modernas, my point here is that we felt empowered enough to ask for a preferred brand this time, unlike the last time when I felt I had to beg for whatever it was they were giving (and failed).
As much as I would’ve preferred to be called back to a Silay City vax site, if only to see if the vaccination experience was improved after feedback, our policy was first come, first served. The irony was just as we were walking out of the USLS+Bacolod vax site, my wife got a call from Silay asking if our kids had already been vaccinated. If you come to think of it, while getting our kids jabbed 200 meters away from the home rather than 14 kilometers would’ve been more convenient for us, we wouldn’t have gotten to see how the other city conducts its vax drive. Hopefully everyone is constantly improving how they deliver their services as they engage in a friendly competition in our desperate race towards herd immunity.*