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Muntinlupa launches virtual town hall meetings for vaccine 

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In a bid to generate demand for vaccination services and increase vaccination uptake among residents, the local government of Muntinlupa launches a series of COVID-19 Vaccine Virtual Town Hall Meeting with health professionals from national government agencies.

At least 100 participants from homeowners associations and urban poor groups attended the launching of Muntinlupa’s COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall Meetings in partnership with the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and Food and Drug Administration last February 10.

During the virtual meeting, RITM Infection Prevention and Control Committee Chair Charissa Borja-Tabora underscored the safety of vaccines, the process of clinical trials, and the role of vaccines in protecting individuals and communities.

FDA Center for Drugs Regulation and Research Jesusa Joyce Cirunay also discussed the agency’s Emergency Use Authorization and the stringent process and policies for the approval of vaccines.

Muntinlupa Public Information Officer Tez Navarro said the initiative is part of the local government’s campaign to enable, inform, motivate, and empower high priority groups to access the vaccination service.

Navarro hoped that the communication strategy in inviting healthcare professionals to explain information on the vaccine will help improve the immunization uptake in Muntinlupa.

“We will conduct a series of dialogue with individuals and communities to help them understand the value of vaccines so more Muntinlupeños will be convinced to be inoculated,” Navarro said.

As of February 11, the city’s COVID-19 vaccine survey showed that out of the 17,561 respondents from Muntinlupa’s nine barangays, 76% or 13,077 individuals said they are willing to get vaccinated, an increase from 63% in the last survey dated February 5. 

While, a total of 4,484 respondents or 24% said they are not willing to take the vaccine. The most common reasons for the refusal to take the vaccine include fear of side effects, doubts with the efficiency rate of the vaccine, and fee of vaccination.

Further, Muntinlupa’s COVID-19 vaccination plan and other best practices on public health earned praise from officials of the Department of Health during the assessment visit of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 and Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team in the city last February 5.

Muntinlupa City Health Office has identified 6,758 medical frontliners from barangay health centers, emergency responders, public and private hospitals/clinics. Under the local COVID-19 vaccination plan, there will be 82 vaccination teams to be deployed in 35 vaccination posts and 8,200 target individuals to be vaccinated per day. 

Muntinlupa City has 62 active cases, 5,460 confirmed cases with 5,227 recoveries, 171 reported deaths, 81 suspect cases, and 417 probable cases as of February 11.

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