In the provinces, thousands line up to get vaccinated vs COVID-19 | Inquirer News
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Luzon to Mindanao

In the provinces, thousands line up to get vaccinated vs COVID-19

/ 04:35 AM November 30, 2021

READY FOR A SHOT: Residents troop to a vaccination site set up at Robinsons Mall Ilocos in Laoag City during the first day of the national COVID-19 vaccination drive. (PHOTO COURTESY OF PHILIPPINE INFORMATION AGENCY ILOCOS NORTE)

DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — The first day of the nationwide three-day vaccination drive saw thousands of residents in provinces from Luzon to Mindanao availing of the jab to protect them against COVID-19, health officials in these areas reported.

In Davao City alone, officials were optimistic about meeting their target of vaccinating 49,000 persons a day, or a total of about 150,000 in three days. The city opened all its vaccination hubs starting 8 a.m. on Monday for the walk-in inoculation of people age 12 years old and above.

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The vaccination drive would boost the city’s drive to vaccinate 1.2 million people to achieve herd immunity in the city although they were already close to achieving their target, said Dr. Michelle Schlosser, spokesperson of the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force, in a phone interview on Monday.

Mayor Sara Duterte said 1.01 million, or 84.23 percent of the city’s 1.2 million target for herd immunity, already received their first doses as of Nov. 22. Those who are fully vaccinated already reached 908,101 individuals, or 75.67 percent of the target.

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Schlosser said the city was within target as far as achieving herd immunity and the three-day vaccination drive would further boost the number.

She said the positivity rate in the city, or the percentage of persons tested for COVID-19 who turned out positive for the virus, had also markedly declined in the past days along with the decline in the number of COVID-19 cases.

But Schlosser continued to remind the public to continue observing the minimum health protocols, including the wearing of face masks. She stressed whether or not the city would experience a surge in the next weeks after loosening up its restrictions would largely depend on human behavior, or how diligently people followed health protocols.

Priority regions

In Kauswagan town of Lanao del Norte province, minors between the age of 12 to 17 years old received their first vaccine shot during Monday’s national vaccination rollout.

The government has earlier listed Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol region, Zamboanga Peninsula and the Bangsamoro Administrative Region of Muslim Mindanao as its priority regions for vaccination, said Interior Undersecretary Bernardo Florece on Monday.

Florece, who attended the inoculation activity in Ligao City, Albay province, said Bicol region was expected to increase its vaccination numbers following the nationwide drive.

As of Monday, only 1,953,716 of the 3,048,537 targeted population for herd immunity in Bicol had been inoculated against COVID-19. Bicol’s total current population is 4.33 million.

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“It’s more of logistical problem … there are a lot of challenges, like the storage facility and the lack of syringes,” Florece said of Bicol’s low inoculation rate.

Dr. Ferchito Avelino, officer in charge of the Department of Health (DOH) center for health development in Bicol, however, was confident they would reach 70 percent of their target population before Christmas Day.

In Ilocos Norte province, the DOH in the Ilocos region announced that least 93,505 individuals received their COVID-19 vaccines during the first day of the national vaccination drive.

The COVID-19 vaccines were administered in at least 408 vaccination sites which were set up in the region, the DOH said on Monday afternoon.

The region’s health workers were targeting to vaccinate 252,240 residents, according to the DOH.

—REPORTS FROM GERMELINA LACORTE, RICHEL UMEL, MICHAEL JAUCIAN AND JOHN MICHAEL MUGAS INQ
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