In support of the Philippines’ response efforts against COVID-19, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Quezon City local government, led by Charge D’Affaires Heather Variava of the US Embassy to the Philippines and Mayor Joy Belmonte, today officially launched the COVID-19 Mobile Testing and Vaccination Units for the City.
The deployment of mobile vaccination and testing teams are expected to expand and strengthen the City’s pandemic response efforts, benefit households with senior citizens and vulnerable people, and reach disadvantaged families residing in hard-to-reach areas.
Also in line with the National Government’s plan to prepare for potential surges and to ramp-up the vaccination roll-out, USAID will be supporting Quezon City’s ProtekTODO campaign by mobilizing thirty (30) healthcare workers to assist in vaccine and testing operations in six (6) districts.
“We in the Quezon City government are profoundly grateful to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for choosing to support the city’s COVID-19 response.
The deployment of these mobile COVID-19 testing and vaccination units in each of our six districts will bolster our current efforts in giving the people power to protect themselves from the deadly virus.” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
The mobile vaccination teams will help contribute an estimated 12,000 shots monthly for people of Quezon City, while the mobile testing initiative will help contribute about 5,000 tests on top of the local government’s 20,000 monthly testing coverage.
“Months into this raging pandemic, the Quezon City Government has worked tirelessly to get as many residents tested and hit our vaccination targets,” shared Mayor Joy Belmonte. “Through USAID’s support, Quezon City can remain resilient and responsive in protecting the lives of many.”
“We’re optimistic that this move will lead to the further decrease in the number of COVID cases and higher vaccination rate in remote barangays. The faster we can achieve population protection, will greatly benefit the city and its people. Soon we can open our economy further, and eventually give our youths more freedom of movement like the holding of face-to-face classes.”
“The Philippines and the United States share a unique and long-standing partnership,” said U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires Heather Variava. “We will continue supporting the Philippines’ response to the pandemic, get the COVID-19 vaccines in people’s arms and build back better.”
As symbolism of the long lasting American-Philippine alliance, the vehicles used for mobile vaccine and swabbing units are jeepneys, a popular Filipino transportation which has its roots from transforming Willys Jeeps used by the Americans in the Philippines during World War II.
Supporting the Philippines in its COVID-19 response efforts has been a priority of the U.S. Government since the COVID-19 outbreak began in early 2020.
Since then, USAID has been providing humanitarian and technical assistance now valued at more than $39 million (P2 billion pesos) in support of the country’s COVID-19 response.
On November 8, 2020, the USAID announced an additional $11.3 million (P550 million pesos) in assistance to help the Philippines bolster its response efforts, strengthen its health system, and deliver the COVID-19 vaccines in critical areas.
Quezon City has been selected as one of the local government units for this assistance.