DAGUPAN CITY – A 97-year-old resident of Barangay Poblacion Oeste here was among the first recipients of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine as the city government started Wednesday the inoculation of AstraZeneca vaccine to senior citizens.
Antonia Cornel Ventenilla, the first person in the city to get the vaccine, was accompanied by her son, 67-year-old Ramon, who also was inoculated.
In an interview, Ventenilla said she was encouraged by her sibling who is a doctor to get the vaccine despite her age.
Luz Geminiano, Office of the Senior Citizens Association (OSCA) president in the city, said the first batch to be vaccinated is composed of the presidents of the Barangay Senior Citizens Association (BASCA).
“They will be the ones who will give testimony and encourage their fellow senior citizens at their barangay about the benefit of getting vaccinated,” she said.
However, more senior citizens flocked at the vaccination center at the People’s Astrodome after the city’s Public Information Office posted an advisory asking the seniors to call or coordinate with the designated contact person at their respective barangays for the registration.
“When the information was released for them to register at their barangay, many came here as they probably thought they could come here and be injected,” Mayor Marc Brian Lim said in a separate interview.
Lim said it was a “welcome problem” as it signifies that many senior citizens in the city wanted to be vaccinated.
“The policy is that walk-in seniors will still be injected. We set up a tent outside of the center and we provided them food as well,” he added.
Lim said the city has 850 doses of vaccine as of Tuesday.
“We have to ask the regional director of the Department of Health Center for Health and Development in the Ilocos Region for additional vaccines. We will lobby for more vaccines to be delivered in Dagupan City,” he said.
City Health Office medical officer Dr. Dalvie Casilang said vaccination of senior citizens will be based on a set schedule per barangay next week. (PNA)