By Carlito “Tolitz” Villanueva, Rotary Club of Baguio Summer Capitol, Philippines
We heal as one. Our communities were brought to a standstill by the COVID-19 pandemic. But now that vaccine is becoming available in the Philippines, we are slowly regaining our strength, confidence, and mobility to carry on our daily tasks.
Rotary members from nine clubs in our city partnered with the Baguio City Health Services to participate in the “Adopt a Vaccination Site” program, which encourages civic groups to provide the necessary support for these centers to keep the vaccination campaign running smoothly.
Different clubs in our district were on a rotation basis to provide at least 5-7 members a day for eight-hour shifts. The members provided crowd control and assisted health workers in administering the vaccine.
Most of the time, the volunteers monitored recipients for any possible adverse reactions to the vaccine during the 15-minute observation period after receiving their dose. Each member received instructions on what to look for in potential side effects. A few members who were physicians also assisted in checking in with individuals post- vaccination.
Our nine club presidents were able to raise nearly $2,000 to purchase vests for frontline health workers, and signs and tarpaulins for the vaccination site located at the University of Baguio Gym, one of two in the city. The clubs that helped raise funds included Baguio Summer Capital, Baguio, Baguio Highlands, Baguio North, Baguio South, Baguio Sunrise, Baguio Downtown Session, La Trinidad, and Metro Baguio.
Our region’s department of health has reported that 8,092 healthcare workers (first priority recipients) have been vaccinated since the campaign began in Baguio City in March.
The “Adopt a Vaccination Site” program will continue through October and we will continue our support while the campaign is ongoing. It has been an incredible experience to be able to help our community in this fashion during the pandemic. It has indeed been Service Above Self.