MANILA – Pasig City residents on Thursday welcomed the city’s rollout of the Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) single-dose Janssen coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine for the A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (persons with comorbidities) priority groups.
Five residents, mostly senior citizens, received the jabs in a ceremony witnessed by Mayor Vico Sotto, National Task Force Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer, Secretary Vince Dizon, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, and officials of the Department of Health (DOH) at the Pasig Sports Complex.
Rika Rustia, 27, of Barangay San Antonio, said she is happy that her grandmother, 92-year-old Dolores Payawal, and uncle, 61-year-old Ramon Rustia, did not experience any adverse effects after the vaccination.
“Hindi po sila nasaktan and mukhang okay na okay yung lagay nila ngayon. Tungkol din sa vaccine kasi po lalo na kapag senior one dose sobrang maganda kay lola kasi minsan lang lalabas. Sobrang saya po nila kasi natatakot po silang lumabas ng bahay (They were not hurt and they seem to be really okay. Regarding the vaccine, it’s only one dose, so it’s good for my grandmother as this means she doesn’t need to go out again for a second dose. They are happy with the vaccination because they really fear going out of the house),” Rustia told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on the sidelines of the event.
She also thanked the city government for its pro-active response against Covid-19.
“Wala po kaming naging problema. Lahat po ng tao dito sa Pasig sobrang matulungin po. Sobrang bait nila ultimo sa pag provide ng wheelchair kay lola kasi hindi po siya nakakalakad nang matagal. Agad agad po silang nagbibigay ng wheelchair. Sa facilities wala po ako masabi kundi maayos po, hindi po sila nahirapan (We did not have any problems. The people here in Pasig are very helpful. They were really kind. They even provided a wheelchair for my grandmother because she cannot walk long distance. They immediately gave us a wheelchair. As for the facilities, I have nothing but praises and we did not encounter any difficulties),” she added.
Mario Anlizada, 61, of Barangay Kalawahan described the vaccine as “a bite of an ant” and urged other residents to be vaccinated.
Another senior citizen, Naida Opaner, 70, also encouraged the elderly to avail themselves of the jabs.
“Okay naman, maayos naman pakiramdam ko at masaya ako. Magpabakuna na sila kasi nakakatakot lumabas, kailangan bakunado na (I’m okay, I feel good and I’m happy. They should get vaccinated because it’s really dangerous to go out now. We should all get vaccinated),” she said.
Cecilio Dimano, 52, said the single-shot vaccine means convenience and an extra layer of protection against Covid-19.
“Okay naman at one dose lang kaya magpa-vaccine na sila para na din sa safety ng pamilya nila. Thumbs up sa Pasig at sa national government (It’s good because it’s only one dose. They should get vaccinated for the safety of their families. A thumbs up to the Pasig City government and the national government),” he said.
DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said it is important for senior citizens and persons with comorbidities to get the jabs, especially amid the threat of the more transmissible Delta variant.
“Anim sa bawat 10 na namamatay sa Covid-19 ay may edad 60 pataas (Six out of 10 people who die of Covid-19 are aged 60 and above). We cannot overemphasize the need for vaccination. Pangalawa, ang mga may comorbidities ay (persons with comorbidities are) four times more susceptible to Covid-19 sickness and death so we also focused on the A3 group,” she added.
Meanwhile, Sotto thanked the national government for the single-dose Covid-19 vaccine.
“Kapag sinabi natin na 44,703 ang actual na eligible senior citizens natin sa Pasig, naabot na po natin ang 100 percent para sa first dose. (When we talk of 44,703 actual eligible senior citizens in Pasig, we have reached the 100 percent vaccination rate for the first dose). The most effective way to convince our senior citizens and even the general population we have seen it’s really through word of mouth. Kapag nakita ng isang senior citizen na yung kapatid niya ay nabakunahan at malusog naman siya, safe naman siya mas nae-encourage siya na magpabakuna din (If senior citizens see that their siblings got the jabs and they are healthy and safe, they will be encouraged to get the jabs),” Sotto said in his opening remarks.
According to the Pasig Public Information Office (PIO), the city received an allocation of 4,900 Janssen jabs from the national government for senior citizens and persons with comorbidities.
Sotto said around 300,000 residents have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine while more than 100,000 are already fully vaccinated.
“Ang importanteng i-share ko dito ay nung una sa planning namin ang binigay namin na target sa DOH was 5,800 per day (One important thing that I want to share is that during our planning, we gave a target of 5,800 administered vaccines per day to the DOH). There was one day when we were able to vaccinate 11,000 in one day. So, in terms of capacity, we have already doubled the target. What is important here is we have a steady supply of vaccines and now, we see that more supplies are coming so I think we are at a good pace,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dizon said the National Capital Region (NCR) has already exceeded its target of 120,000 jabs per day.
“The NCR has breached its target. From an initial target of 120,000 jabs a day, it is now at an average of 130,000 to 150,00 a day. And yesterday (Wednesday), 160,000 doses were administered despite the bad weather. We can see that our mayors, especially here in the NCR are working hard. Not even floods and rains can stop them,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.
The government targets to administer 500,000 doses daily as more vaccine supplies arrive in the country.
As of Thursday, Dizon said the 16 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have so far been administered throughout the country.
“Right now, I am very proud and happy to announce that as of today we have already administered 16 million doses throughout the country. And just yesterday, we have reached 350,00 doses across the country despite the bad weather. This is an important milestone in our fight against Covid-19,” he added. (PNA)