Booster shots in private subdivisions, villages urged

December 24, 2021 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 301 views

QUEZON City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo has urged the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to allow private subdivisions or villages to do their own booster vaccination for their residents.

Castelo made the appeal after several of her constituents in the city’s second district, which she represents, inquired if they could receive their booster shots in the same areas in their villages where the IATF earlier permitted them to get their first and second doses.

With the government’s decision to shorten the time for giving the booster dose from six months to three months, Castelo said the authorities should expect crowding in many vaccination facilities.

“We should welcome the desire of many people to receive additional protection from COVID-19 and its new variant Omicron. Allowing homeowners’ associations that administered the basic shots to give the booster dose will ease crowding in inoculation centers,” Castelo said.

She said many village residents are afraid to go to crowded centers to get vaccinated for fear of catching the virus.

Castelo added that she is sure that village associations are willing to do booster vaccination for their constituents.

“They will not lack volunteer medical doctors, nurses and other health professionals from their residents,” Castelo stressed.

She pointed out that expanding the rollout of boosters would speed up the attainment of heard immunity against the virus.

At the same time, Castelo urged concerned health, tourism and airport officials to fix what she descried as the “mess” in the reception and quarantining of Filipinos returning from abroad.

She said two residents of her district who arrived from the United States last Monday were made to wait overnight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to be transported to their quarantine hotel in Quezon City.

“They were given the runaround for several hours shortly after their arrival at 5 in the afternoon. They were made to go from one government desk to another until toward midnight, when they were told that offices were already closed and they had to wait till the next morning to be brought to their hotel,” she said, recounting her constituents’ gripes.

She said the returning residents, instead of sleeping at NAIA, pleaded to be allowed to go home and do self-isolation but were barred from going out of the airport.

“Is this the way we treat our returning kababayan? Nearly two years into the pandemic, are agencies still groping in the dark on pandemic-related procedures?” she asked.