Over 7,000 PDLs at Cebu City Prison Receive First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

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Cebu City Prison Men’s Dormitory PDLs began receiving COVID-19 injections on October 18, 2021. | Photo courtesy of BJMP’s Cebu City Jail Jail Men’s Dormitory FB page

CEBU CITY, Philippines – More than 7,000 people deprived of their liberty (PDL) who are now in the male and female dorms at Cebu City Prison have already received their first dose of the city government’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr Jeffrey Ibones, head of the Cebu City Health Department (CHD), said they are prioritizing the vaccination of 7,200 PDLs to prevent a possible outbreak of coronavirus disease in the prison facility located in Barangay Kalunsan.

The vaccination began on Monday October 18 and ended on Friday October 22, in coordination with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

“Kaluoy sa Ginoo wala ray kakulian nga nahitabo kay cooperative ra atong mga prison. Naa pud tay mga nurses did. At the beginning naglisod ta pero once naset-up na nato ang sistema. Paspas na siya, ”Ibones said.

(Thank goodness we didn’t encounter any difficulties as the PDLs were cooperative. We also had a nurse in the facility. At first we encountered a few issues but these were resolved as soon as we were able to set up. a vaccination system. We were able to speed up the process.)

The city government hopes to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the city jail, as closed facilities are often prone to outbreaks as PDLs live in closed quarters.

After administering the first dose of the vaccine to the PDLs, the Cebu City government is now investigating the possibility of also vaccinating Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) who are now housed at Operation Second Chance, also located in Barangay Kalunasan. .

With the vaccination of minors between the ages of 12 and 17 about to start in the city, Ibones said, they are now considering including CICLs as well especially as they also live with younger ones.

“Maapil sila sa 12 to 17 years old pero mao pa na atong tan-awon kung kinsa ilang guardian kay ang uban nila wala nay mama, wala nay papa. Ato pa nang tan-awon sa court, ”Ibones said.

(They will be included for the vaccination of those between 12 and 17 years old, but we need to determine who will act as guardian since some of them no longer have parents. We need to consult the court on this.)

Ibones said they need to check whether social workers can act as legal guardians of CICL and sign the consent form for their vaccination.

The Operation Second Chance vaccination will begin as soon as the matter is clarified.

The availability of vaccine supply is no longer a concern for the city as it expects to receive 30,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine in the coming days.

“If ever magkulang, we can always ask for more,” Ibones said.

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