Mobile booster teams pressed

January 6, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 170 views

LOCAL governments in Metro Manila should deploy mobile booster teams to swiftly cover more people in the ongoing inoculation drive against the third wave of the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic that is being fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant, Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor said on Thursday.

“We have to bring booster services closer to the people to overcome the tsunami of infections and hold back more hospitalizations and deaths,” Defensor said.

“In Quezon City, for instance, many residents have not received their boosters because of the local government’s flawed strategy of merely asking people to gather at pre-designated vaccination sites,” Defensor said.

“We would urge local governments to position transportable booster clinics around public markets, where both vendors and consumers are at high infection risk,” Defensor, who is running for Quezon City mayor, said.

“In the case of our vendors, they have to eke out a living every day and are being discouraged from getting their boosters because of poor access,” Defensor said.

Mobile booster services should also target communities with low vaccination rates as well as neighborhoods and worksites previously hit by outbreaks, Defensor said.

“If necessary, barangay officials should conduct door-to-door campaigns, draw up a list up of booster-eligible individuals, and then bring in mobile jab teams where needed,” Defensor said.

Defensor also batted for extensive in-home booster services for individuals looking after the elderly or tending to children full-time.

The country is once again at high COVID-19 infection risk, with Metro Manila as the epicenter of a fresh surge in cases, according to the Department of Health (DoH).

Based on the DoH COVID-19 Tracker, Quezon City again reported the highest number of new cases nationwide on Jan. 5, with 1,780 cases, followed by Manila with 1,438 cases.

Quezon City’s cumulative caseload has already reached 182,180 as of Jan. 5, surpassing not only Manila’s 109,514 caseload, but also those of large provinces around the National Capital Region, such as Cavite’s 164,571, Laguna’s 125,342 and Rizal’s 106,382.