Puerto Princesa City has vaccinated 15% of its target population as of August 15. Latest data shows that 15% or 30,914 individuals have been fully vaccinated since the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines. There are 11% are still first-dose recipients, while on the other hand, there are around 74% of the City’s target population that have not been vaccinated.
The City targets to inoculate 145,000 people using Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, and Janssen.
This time, they started to ramp up its vaccination program to reach remote and isolated barangays within the city.
The City Government is confident in reaching the 70% of the City’s target population aged 18 and above to achieve protection or immunity by the third quarter of 2022.
While the development of vaccines against COVID 19 is an exceptional achievement, successfully vaccinating the target population presents many challenges, from production to distribution, deployment, and importantly, acceptance. Trust in the vaccines is crucial, and is decisively dependent on the ability of governments to effectively communicate the benefits of vaccination, deliver the vaccines safely and effectively, and conduct the vaccination in a very orderly manner.
Recent reports that city residents for vaccination, especially walk-in clients need to queue as early as 1 in the morning is disturbing as it considered as a drawback to the vaccination campaign that the government wanted to deliver successfully.
Communicating the public is also key for the successful conduct of the ongoing vaccination. This can be achieved not only by proactively releasing timely information on vaccination strategies, modalities and accomplishments in disaggregated, user-friendly and open source formats, but also to enhance transparent and coherent public communication.
Addressing walk-in clients can be managed by communicating with them, and to avoid seeing individuals who need to go out from their homes in wee hours for the purpose of vaccination.
Successful vaccination campaigns also require governments to partner and support community organizations to conduct extensive and well-managed community engagement. A thorough understanding is needed of different populations’ specific concerns.
Trust in vaccination, and in the ability of governments to communicate, and to successfully deliver a vaccination program are barometers to the overall success of the COVID-19 vaccination. Government actions to gain public trust will be vital to their success, and to the rise of more resilient societies after the crisis.