MANILA— The Quezon City government said Thursday it would prioritize vaccinating residents of the city's "closed and long-term care facilities" against COVID-19.
In a statement, the local government said Mayor Joy Belmonte ordered the city health department (CHD) to vaccinate individuals living in such facilities, which include orphanages, home care facilities, apostolate centers, and rehabilitation centers.
Belmonte gave the order following the CHD's survey of facilities in the city after 4 religious compounds were placed under special lockdown due to COVID-19.
Dr. Rolando Cruz, head of the city's epidemiology and disease surveillance unit, said 594 employees and clients from 13 facilities have yet to receive a first dose of COVID-19 vaccines.
"We are working closely with the city’s vaccination team so inoculation can be done at the soonest possible time," Cruz said.
Belmonte said the local government would extend assistance to all closed and long-term care facilities "to control infection and to prevent deaths from possible future outbreaks."
The local government will also issue guidelines to improve the "infectious disease resiliency" of these facilities, such as through better ventilation.
The guidelines will help administrators of the facilities retrofit their buildings and reduce COVID-19 transmission, Belmonte said.