NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental – Despite having less formal education and limited access to understanding more the coronavirus and its vaccines, an elderly couple in Barangay Poblacion here are already fully inoculated against Covid-19. As early as 6 a.m. on Friday, Edwin and Margie Sabellina accompanied their two minor-aged daughters to the Mindanao State University (MSU) vaccination site for the first day of pediatric inoculation.
Edwin, a tricycle driver, completed two doses in June while his wife, Margie, a saleslady of a downtown bakeshop, was fully vaccinated in July.
Margie said their neighbor, an employee of the local government unit, explained to them the importance of the vaccine and how it can protect them and their children aged 16 and 13.
The younger one is mentally-challenged.
“Daghan naman gud ang wala kasugakod sa sakit, mi-grabe, dunay namatay. Mao nay kahadlokan namo para sa amoa ug para sa amoang mga anak (There are many people I know who did not make it when they contracted the virus. Some got critical, others died. I am afraid for our children),” Margie said in an interview.
“Bisan kato’ng bakunado nami, mabalaka gihapon mi nga makadala og virus kay amoang anak dili pa bakunado. Amoang trabaho nag-atubang bisan kinsa. Maong pag uli sa balay, manghugas o maligo. Pag-ingun nga pwde na sila bakunahan deretso mi nagpalista nilang duha (Even if we are fully vaccinated, we still worry we might bring the virus at home because our children are not yet vaccinated. Our work is exposed to anybody. When we get home, we wash or take a bath. When we were told that minors can be vaccinated, we immediately got them listed),” Edwin said. Michelle Caniton, a 17-year-old senior high school student of Barangay Maputi, first lined up for vaccines with her classmates last month but was not accommodated. “My classmates were already 18. The doctor said there was no approval yet for vaccination of minors,” Caniton said, adding her father is opposed to the idea of her getting vaccinated.
“In the family, my mother and I are interested in the vaccine. My mother understands that as a lactating mother, she has to be vaccinated for her protection but my father did not allow her to,” she added.
However, Caniton said she will still get the vaccine because she wants to be allowed to participate in face-to-face classes. Naawan Mayor Dennis Roa said they target to vaccinate at least 50 percent of their estimated 23,000 residents by the end of the year.
On the first day of vaccination for minors, at least 800 went to MSU.
Naawan will also accept non-residents who study in schools in the municipality.
“In Naawan, around 30 percent of our residents are fully vaccinated. There are still adults who are afraid to get the jab. But for the senior citizens and those with comorbidities, we achieved a 50 percent vaccination rate. In our town, we have more youths. They are almost 60 percent of the population,” Roa said.
As early as August, Roa said they have loosened their regulations by opening beach resorts and tourist spots.
Contact sports like basketball and volleyball were also allowed.
The town has two active Covid-19 cases as of Friday, both admitted in a hospital. (PNA)