Those who registered for COVID-19 vaccines in Valenzuela City are required to get the full two doses to avoid wastage, Mayor Rex Gatchalian said Wednesday.
After getting the vaccine dose, a recipient cannot opt out of the second one, as it is necessary for the vaccine to take full effect, Gatchalian told ANC. The city recently held a vaccine dry run.
Valenzuela ordered 640,000 doses of the vaccine made by British-drugmaker AstraZeneca that could cover up to 320,000 people or 70% of the city's adult population.
"In that whole [vaccination] center, there are multiple steps and one of them is the information site. The doctors there will make sure that they get the proper information, know what they're getting into, and know that this is a two step process," Gatchalian said.
"That is something that we have to explain to them that look you're going through the process already might as well maximize it by getting the second dose... We really have to drill it to their head," he said. One dose can only give around 60 to 70% efficacy, which is why a second dose is needed to move it all the way to 90%.
Over 15,000 people have registered so far. A marketing campaign is underway to encourage more people to sign up, he said.
The only "wastage" the city can afford is when people who signed up suddenly have a change of heart before getting the first dose. In which case, the city will draw from a backup list of recipients.
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"The goal is to have nothing go to waste. We have to remember these are prime commodities. It was a long process to get them or to even negotiate for them. And we know that whatever we both will be depriving somebody else, not just in the Philippines but somewhere else, of a vaccine that's much needed," he said.
The vaccines are expected to arrive by second half of 2021. The remaining 30% will be shouldered by the national government and will be procured only once supply permits, he said.