QUEZON City District 2 Councilor Winnie Castelo on Saturday urged the city government to provide senior citizens with free shuttle to vaccination centers in their barangay.
“Giving them free transportation will lessen their fear of exposure to the virus. They will naturally feel safer in less crowded vehicles than in public utility jeepneys or buses,” Castelo said.
Castelo said the city government could use vehicles owned by barangays in transporting senior citizens to their vaccination sites.
Barangay officials could announce the offer of free shuttle service, he Castelo said.
“This will increase our vaccination rate, expand the rollout of boosters and contain the spread of the new virus variant omicron,” Castelo added.
At the same time, Castelo urged the city government to provide senior citizens and other residents with vaccine choices and not just one or two vaccine brands.
“Obviously, people have their preferred brands and are waiting for these to become available to get vaccinated or to receive their booster,” he said.
In the case of the elderly, many of them were inoculated in April and May, eight months or nine months ago, when only the Chinese-made Sinovac was offered, he said.
The government told them then to take Sinovac, since it provided the best protection against new coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), Castelo recalled.
“The situation is vastly different now. There are more vaccines, so let’s give them a menu from which they could choose the one they feel could better shield them from COVID-19,” Castelo stressed.
He pointed out that senior citizens should be helped to take their booster shots as soon as possible, since their immunity against the virus might have already waned or even dissipated after eight or nine months.