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DOH taps 3 drag queens as Covid ‘vaccinadoras’

by Malou Talosig-Bartolome

THE government has three new vaccine heroes – or should we say heroines. 

They are drag queens Precious Paula Nicole, Queen Lady Morgana, and Queen Turing of the Drag Race Philippines. 

The three drag queens were introduced as #vaccinadoras (vaccinators) last week to hype the launch of #KaBayanihan Youth Challenge by the Department of Health (DOH), National Youth Commission (NYC), UNICEF Philippines and Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) Pilipinas.

Nicole was crowned the overall winner while Queen Lady Morgana is named Miss Congeniality of the Drag Race Philippines Season 1. Queen Turing, also a contestant in Drag Race Philippines, has become a social media personality for her body positivity advocacy.

#Vaxxinadoras pose with DOH, UNICEF Philippines, NYC, Y-PEER Pilipinas

#KaBayanihan Youth Challenge for COVID-19 launch last November 30 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Ortigas, Quezon City

“Joining the launch and transforming as #Vaxxinadoras, they committed to be vaccine champions in their communities and help in encouraging more Filipinos to complete their COVID-19 vaccines,” the DOH, UNICEF, NYC and Y-PEER said in a joint statement.

The government is pushing for the successful “last-mile” campaign for the Philippines to achieve herd immunity from Covid-19.

With #KaBayanihan, the DOH and its partners hope they can promote vaccines as a safe protection from deadly spread of the coronavirus, tapping the three drag queens as well as 10 youth-led and youth-serving organizations.

It challenges the youth to collaborate with their respective local governments in promoting Covid-19 vaccines.

Their priority is to reach vulnerable populations such as senior citizens, school-age children and adolescents, as well as indigenous communities in the provinces of Cavite, Albay, Western Samar, Basilan, Negros Oriental, Davao, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, South Cotabato, and Antique.

Each youth organization was awarded PHP 200,000.00 as a seed-grant to support the design and implementation of their innovative ideas.

The youth “challenge” starts tomorrow, the first day of the nationwide mass vaccination drive of the government called Bakunahang Bayan: Special COVID-19 Vaccination Days Part II. The mass vaccination will end on Wednesday.

All adolescents and adults aged 12 years old and above are encouraged to get booster shots, if they haven’t gotten any. 

Children aged 5-11 who have not received their primary shots will also be welcomed in DOH health centers, schools and malls.

The DOH had earlier reported that with 73 million doses,  it has achieved 77.8 percent of its target vaccination rate by the end of June 2022. It aims to inoculate 80 percent of its population or 90 million Filipinos, especially those in hard-to-reach areas in the provinces.

Around 44 million doses of COVID-19 shots worth more than P20 billion have gone to waste. It is estimated that more than half of those who received the primary shots opted not to receive the booster shots or the second booster shot.

“The pandemic continues to impress upon us the significance of collective action and active participation, especially in our efforts to transition to the new normal and attain Universal Health Care. The impact of what we do now will be felt not just by us, but by future generations to come. Hence, there are no better people to engage than the very ones who stand to feel the impact of today’s collective action,” OIC Health Secretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire said.

Banner photo courtesy Queen Lady Morgana FB. Photo and courtesy Leah Villalon



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