Mayor Lazatin’s Tangible Way To Make Vaccines Accessible to Bedridden Seniors

TO RAMP UP vaccination for all senior citizens, Angeles City Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr. will unveil another innovative system to expand the city’s Covid-19 at-home vaccination program by deploying two mobile vaccination clinics (MVCs) throughout the city and in far flung villages.
The two MVC buses – one is city government-owned and another was provided by the Korean Community on a provisional basis— will be debuted next month to vaccinate some 462 housebound or bedridden seniors at the comfort of their homes.

The well-equipped MVCs are manned by medical teams composed of vaccinators, doctors and support staff from the City Health Office and Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center to provide health assessments, COVID testing and vaccination.

MVCs represent an untapped resource for our healthcare system. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated its limitations and with the flexibility and adaptability of mobile clinics responding to pandemics make them ideal partners even on a full-fledged basis. First, they provide access to healthcare especially for displaced or isolated individuals; Second, they offer versatility in the setting of a damaged or inadequate healthcare infrastructure; and, Third, nomadic and community-based delivery clinics fill the gap in the healthcare safety net, reaching socio-economically underserved and handicapped populations in both urban and rural areas.

According to Lazatin, this has afforded the city government to pool all resources and the ability to really expand and speed up its roll out program aside from the two existing vaccination centers—the City College of Angeles and Angeles City High School— accommodating a daily trajectory target of 6,000 vaccinees. These MVCs bridge the gap for bedridden senior citizens that have no access to the government’s vaccination program. Lazatin however said the real success of this project is the ability to offer protection for people who have no other resource and help achieve equity in vaccine allocation.

Brain disease is the number one cause for people becoming bedridden, accounting for about 30 to 50 percent of all cases. It is followed by weakness due to old age at 20 percent, and the breaking of a bone at 10 percent. Once an older person became bedridden, it was not long before the person’s consciousness began to deteriorate, leading to unconsciousness.
This MVC project is the prelude of Lazatin’s goal to conduct regular house to house inoculation to insulate the Angelenos against the daily virus, particularly in remote areas.

The seniors group is the second priority group to be vaccinated, based on the DOH guidelines.In an earlier report, out of the 49,964 members of the elderly population in the city – 12,412 seniors received their first dose, while 262 are already fully-vaccinated.

Last year, some 462 bedridden seniors received P2,000 cash assistance and calcium carbonate supplements via door-to-door delivery. Lazatin started this program during the pre-pandemic as fulfillment to his campaign promise. The city government has also carried out a house-to-house distribution of Vitamins C to 25,000 indigent senior citizens. While some 55,816 seniors also received P1,000 annual social amelioration cash assistance and Vitamin C from the city government last May 2020.

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