3-day special vax day set in 12 LGUs in Cebu Province

THE Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH 7) will hold a three-day house-to-house or special vaccination days in 12 local government units (LGUs) in Cebu Province starting Tuesday, March 29, 2022.The three-day special vaccination activity targets LGUs with the most number of senior citizens that have not received their coronavirus disease (Covid-19) inoculations.In no particular order, the identified LGUs are Balamban, Bantayan, Barili, Carcar City, Daanbantayan, Dalaguete, Danao City, Pinamungajan, San Fernando, San Francisco, Toledo and Tuburan.The three-day vaccination campaign, which will last until Thursday, March 31, will involve not just senior citizens but also others in the eligible population.Dr. Van Phillip Baton, DOH 7 Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases program manager, said Central Visayas is lagging behind other regions in terms of vaccination coverage for senior citizens.Baton said Central Visayas has so far vaccinated 50.9 percent of the targeted 85 percent of the senior citizens’ projected population.He said Cebu was at 39.8 percent while Bohol and Negros Oriental were at 50.3 percent and 45.1 percent vaccination coverage, respectively.To be deescalated to Alert Level 1 status, each LGU must jab 85 percent of its eligible senior citizens over 80 percent of the total projected population while it also needs to vaccinate 70 percent of the 85 percent total eligible population.Baton said the high vaccination ratio requirement for senior citizens was based on the data from other places including Hongkong, wherein they have a high vaccination rate for the general population but only less than 40 percent of their senior citizens are covered.He stressed that Hongkong has the highest per capita mortality of the countries and areas that have surges in Covid-19 cases.He, however, clarified that they are now using the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) projected population of senior citizens per LGU in order to have uniformity.Baton also noted that during the fourth round of the National Vaccination Days (NVD), Central Visayas had a target of 139,647 senior citizens, yet the region delivered 7,124 or only 5.1 percent.Baton, however, said Central Visayas already vaccinated around 62.8 percent of its total eligible population.Bohol was already at 61.8 percent while Cebu and Negros Oriental were at 53.5 percent and 48.2 percent of their respective total eligible populations.Though Cebu Province has higher accomplishments compared to Negros Oriental, he said the former still has a large number of unvaccinated individuals due to its high target.But Baton said it does not mean that other provinces such as Negros Oriental and Bohol will not be ramping up their vaccination.About 40,000 doses are targeted to be used for the residents, particularly 38,524 senior citizens, who have yet to get primary doses in the identified LGUs in the province.He also clarified that it does not mean that other municipalities and component cities in Cebu Province will not be ramping up their vaccination efforts, stressing that they are just focusing their efforts to assist the 12 LGUs due to their high target of seniors to vaccinate.He said they already deployed personnel in these areas who will serve as social mobilizers focusing on demand generation, talking to senior citizens in terms of their problems and issues about getting vaccinated to address these as well.Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH 7 director, said about 65 individuals will be deployed to the identified LGUs composed of around 20 teams.Bernadas encouraged the still unvaccinated to get the jabs not just to achieve herd immunity but also for the region to be deescalated to Alert Level 1 status.Bernadas noted that senior citizens have various reasons for refusing the jab, including their own beliefs, and fake news about the effects of coronavirus disease, and mobility and other circumstances.Apart from that, he also noted the window concerning the supply of vaccines in various areas due to the priorization at the start of the vaccination campaign.Bernadas also said there was a delay in the vaccination in the region, particularly in Cebu Province, due to the recent devastation brought by Typhoon Odette (Rai).Bernadas added that other LGUs have experienced difficulty also in the vaccination campaign, citing the lack of personnel and the fact that some unvaccinated seniors reside in mountain barangays.He assured that they have enough vaccines and that senior citizens can choose whatever brand of vaccines they want to receive or based on the recommendation of the doctors who conducted their pre-evaluation and examination.So far, only Cebu City and Siquijor have been deescalated from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1 status.Bernadas said data reconciliation among the other LGUs in the region with data from the NVOC is ongoing.