MANILA – Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said Thursday nurses from the religious sector have expressed their willingness to volunteer to help in the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccination rollout to augment the number of health personnel.
During the visit of the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team, headed by the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), at the Quezon City Hall on Thursday, local officials presented their Covid-19 vaccination rollout plan.
In his presentation, Joseph Juico, head of the QC task force on Covid-19, said the city government has prepared 24 inoculation sites to cover the city’s six districts.
Juico said the city government is targeting to vaccinate 80 percent of its population or about 1.6 million individuals to achieve herd immunity.
With the number of health workers and personnel available and the number of vaccination sites, he said they are targeting six months to eight months to vaccinate the said number of people.
With the limited number of personnel, Belmonte expressed gladness over the Diocese of Novaliches’ intention to cooperate with the local government.
“Magandang balita din pala ng simbahan sa atin (Good news from the church is that) many of their nuns that work in the religious sector are nurses. So we are actually also asking the religious sector to provide health workers to help us address this particular issue,” she said.
Belmonte said this would be of great help to the city government’s intention to add more inoculation sites to ramp up the vaccination campaign.
In terms of additional target inoculation sites, she said the Novaliches Diocese has already offered its parishes, while big universities, such as the Ateneo de Manila University, have also expressed their commitment to help.
“As soon as the plans have been beefed up with the church and with the academe, we are open to adding more vaccination centers,” Belmonte said, adding that the local government has already submitted a list of possible inoculation sites to the Department of Health, the office that will give the green light.
Meanwhile, she called on the private sector to cooperate with them, especially after she learned that many nurses work in non-medical companies.
“Marami palang nurses that are not employed as nurses but working in various departments. So, sa mga private sector din pag yung mga sales girls ninyo o managers ninyo ay mga nurses, i-offer na rin ninyo sa atin para mas mapalawak natin ang mga hubs ng QC (Many nurses work in various departments. For private sector companies, if your staff are nurses, please volunteer them to us so we could expand our hubs in QC),” Belmonte said.
To address the issue of vaccine hesitancy, the city government has launched a series of webinars where residents could ask questions, which will be answered by health experts.
She said they are also coming up with other information materials, such as flyers and leaflets, to give proper and correct information about the benefits of getting the Covid-19 vaccine. (PNA)