3M vaxxed in Calabarzon, Bicol, Visayas
LEGAZPI CITY—At least 3 million individuals in Calabarzon, Bicol and the Visayas regions received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine during the three-day national inoculation drive, health officials said on Friday.
In Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), the Department of Health (DOH) achieved its target of vaccinating 1 million persons against COVID-19, with vaccinators having been able to inject 1,028,356 doses of different vaccine brands to recipients, said Dr. Ariel Valencia, DOH-Calabarzon director.
Valencia said they hoped the second round of the national vaccination drive this month would be successful in getting the remaining eligible population to receive the vaccine against the coronavirus, particularly with the worldwide threat posed by the Omicron variant.
The government held a three-day massive national COVID-19 vaccination drive on Nov. 29 until Dec. 1, with the aim of inoculating 9 million Filipinos against COVID-19.
The National Task Force against COVID-19 extended it to Dec. 3, following the request of local governments for additional vaccine doses and more time to inoculate their constituents.
The government planned to hold another round of vaccination drive from Dec. 15 to Dec. 17.In Bicol, six in 10 individuals have been vaccinated after the national drive was extended until Friday, allowing local health authorities to inoculate 635,459 persons. the DOH said.
However, the number recorded as of 4 p.m. was still below target, or only about 58 percent of its target to vaccinate 1.1 million Bicolanos.
The island province of Catanduanes, which until Nov. 30 was under the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ alert level 4 classification, was still able to vaccinate 41,011 residents, or 92 percent of its target.
Camarines Norte was only able to vaccinate 56,684 or 46 percent of target; Masbate, 77,524 (40 percent); and Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon provinces immunized 61 percent, 56 percent and 55 percent of the target, respectively.
In the Visayas, at least 1.6 million people were inoculated against COVID-19 from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2.
Central Visayas (Cebu, Negros Oriental, Bohol and Siquijor) had the most number of vaccine recipients at 631,450, followed by Western Visayas (592,341) and Eastern Visayas (421,220).
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of the Visayas Vaccination Operation Center, said the number could rise as data gathered during the three-day vaccination campaign was not yet complete since they were still waiting for reports from some local governments.
Record-high numbers, but…
Many localities in Western Visayas (Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Antique, Roxas, Aklan and Guimaras) logged record-high numbers in vaccination but the total was only 74.88 percent of the regional target of 791,034.
Eastern Visayas (Leyte, Southern Leyte, Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar) also failed to meet its target, only managing to reach around 53 percent of its target 789,813 unvaccinated individuals across the region, the DOH reported.
Still, health officials in Eastern Visayas described the three-day campaign as a “success.”
“We do not want to focus on ‘only 53 percent.’ We are glad that we achieved that number considering the challenges, like accessibility and hesitancy in some areas,” said Jelyn Lopez Malibago, DOH regional information officer. —REPORTS FROM DELFIN MALLARI JR., NESTOR P. BURGOS JR. , JOEY GABIETA, ADOR VINCENT AND REY ANTHONY OSTRIA MAYOL
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