In the Southern Philippines, Adventists Facilitate Vaccination to the Community

Joint effort between the government and church leaders brings outstanding results.

In the Southern Philippines, Adventists Facilitate Vaccination to the Community

Local leaders reported that the Davao Mission of Seventh-day Adventists heeded the call to participate in the region’s COVID-19 vaccination program. The initiative took place in partnership with Adventist Hospital Davao (AHD) through the supervision of the Vaccine Cluster of the City Government of Davao District Health Office.

The four-day event saw 1,200 AztraZeneca shots administered on July 19 and 21-23, 2021, at the Royal Valley Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School, to Adventist church members and other residents in the community.

Davao Mission president Edwin Magdadaro, who is also the mission’s health ministries director, had this plan in mind earlier in 2021 when vaccination sites were harder to find. Adventist Hospital Davao, the health-care institution of the Adventist Church in the Davao region, worked together with the City Government of Davao, under the supervision of Josephine Villafuerte, Vaccine Cluster head of Davao City.

“The vaccine vials cannot be returned to the shelf once they are opened. So we had to call on people from all walks of life outside the premises of the vaccination venue to be properly administered to,” Kenneth Tandug, AHD vice-president for Medical Affairs, said.

Magdadaro said that as church leaders, they had called on Adventist church members who were willing to participate in this program. They also sought to cater to the vaccination needs of the church, since participants didn’t have to wait in long lines under the scorching sun.

The first day of the program saw 216 shots administered. Everyone who received the shot enjoyed a heavy snack prepared by the mission office. As one participant put it, “I am delighted at what happened today in this vaccination site! There was fruit juice, bread, and noodle soup. I wish all sites were like this.”

The numbers of those who had the shots the following day almost doubled, and tripled the day after.

Davao Mission also invited and catered to sister institutions like Northern Davao Mission and South Philippine Adventist College. Other nearby companies also took advantage of this program.

“In total, we administered 1,200 doses,” Aida Daugdaug-Lamera, AHD associate nursing director, said.

A simple ceremony during the devotional program at Davao Mission was held on the last day of the event. Its goal was to show appreciation to the AHD leaders for hosting the event and the Vaccine Cluster of the District Health Office of Davao City for approving the church’s request.

Davao Mission church leaders said they sincerely appreciated the support of the government in this initiative. “The COVID-19 vaccination program was very successful,” they said.

The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division news site.