By Jimmyley Guzman
QUEZON CITY — More fully vaccinated senior citizens of Makati City have received their P1,000-worth of gift certificates from the city government.
Makati City Mayor Abby Binay said that some 24,352 fully vaccinated senior citizens received the gift certificates to show gratitude and appreciation for their support for Bakuna Makati.
Mayor Abby said the incentive is one of the strategic measures the city government has taken to overcome vaccine hesitancy, especially among the elderly who are at high risk of suffering severe symptoms of COVID-19.
“This past month, there has been an uptick in the number of senior citizens that registered for COVID-19 vaccination under the A2 category. As of the end of July, we have registered around 50,000 senior citizens. Of these, 44,121 got their first dose of the vaccine, while 35,813 got their second dose,” Binay said
“Ideally, we should achieve 100 percent vaccination rate among the elderly. However, it would still depend on their willingness to get vaccinated and on the availability of vaccines,” she added.
The local chief executive also reiterated the city’s commitment to the prioritization guidelines set by the Department of Health (DOH).
“We have strictly followed DOH protocols in allocating vaccines provided by the national government, and we intend to do the same with city-procured vaccines.”
The initial batches of the one million vaccines purchased by the city are expected to arrive this month.
“These past months, we have been going out of our way to boost the registration rate of Bakuna Makati among target groups. We want to make sure we will have enough people to vaccinate every time we get a partial delivery on the one million doses we purchased, and receive supplies from the national government.”
According to the city government, to achieve herd immunity, the city must fully vaccinate around 430,000 individuals or 70 percent (70%) of the city’s estimated population in 2020. At two doses per individual, the city-procured vaccines that will cover 500,000 Makatizens, both residents and transient workers.
Last July 23, the city also started its House to House (H2H) vaccination drive for bedridden residents using the single-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. To date, some 11,750 doses of Janssen have been administered to senior citizens and persons with comorbidities in the city.
Likewise, the has established satellite registration sites and a drive-thru vaccination site, and sustained an aggressive social media campaign.
Through the Satellite Bakuna Registration launched last July 1, the city has registered some 7,923 residents to date. Schedules for each strategic location are announced in advance through My Makati Facebook page.
In partnership with Ayala Malls Circuit, the city also opened the country’s first drive-thru vaccination site last May 7 to accommodate persons with disability (PWD) and bedridden residents for vaccination.
Mayor Abby subsequently ordered the service to be extended to other qualified groups as well, and offered free transportation to Vax OTG registrants who have no means of transportation. Vax OTG is open every Thursday and Friday, from 3:00pm to 7:00pm.
Since Bakuna Makati kicked off last March, the city government has been actively engaged in social media to promote awareness of the importance of getting vaccinated. With over 483,000 followers to date, My Makati Facebook page has been optimized as an advocacy platform through videos and social media cards showing Makatizens confidently getting their vaccines and urging others to register.
Also, through strategic partnerships with the private sector, the city has established vaccination sites dedicated to economic frontliners – private sector workers categorized as A4 in the DOH priority list. These include Glorietta 2, San Lorenzo Place, Ayala Malls Circuit, and Rockwell Power Plant, among others. Philippine Information Agency