Escudero: Sorsogon to attain herd immunity by Dec. 31

By Mar S. Arguelles


Sorsogon Gov. Francis “Chiz,” Escudero said recently that he is confident that the province will be able to achieve herd immunity by the end of 2021 when it is expected to vaccinate almost 85 percent of the target population, over and above what was prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Covid-19.


“Marami kaming nabigyan ng first dose noong National Vaccination Days na inaasahan naming mabibigyan ng second dose bago matapos ang taon kung kaya’t mararating namin ang mahigit kumulang na 84.7 percent fully vaccinated rate para sa populasyon ng aming lalawigan na may edad 12 pataas,” Escudero said


Initial data from the Sorsogon Provincial Information Office showed that on the first day of the five-day Bayanihan, Bakunahan National Vaccination Days from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3, a total of 29,141 individuals received their first jab. The total number was 2,343 higher than the DOH-imposed target.


The veteran lawmaker said that the national government appeared to have softened on its earlier directive to the local government units to expedite the vaccination rollout or face sanctions, owing to the sometimes incomplete shipment of vaccines like missing syringes.


Escudero said the province is already on its way to hitting the herd immunity with the arrival of more vaccines to the province since October from 20,000 doses to as much as 40,000 vaccines a day.


“Sapat na sa ngayon ang mga bakuna ngunit minsan lang ay walang hiringgilya. Pero pinalawig din naman nila ang panahon na ibinibigay sa amin para maturok namin dahil complete set dapat iyon. Ibig sabihin dapat may syringe din silang ipinadadala,” Escudero explained.


He also assured that the province will not stop vaccinating all qualified individuals even if herd immunity is achieved, saying the provincial government intends to inoculate individuals who are willing to get their jab, and then commence the booster shots later on.


At present, he said the IATF has allowed Sorsogon to provide booster shots to its healthcare workers, medical frontliners, senior citizens, and those with comorbidities under the A3 category.


“As defined by the IAFT and the WHO na 70 percent herd immunity, makakamit natin iyon. Pero hindi kami titigil dun. Magpapatuloy kami na magbigay ng bakuna hanggang doon sa pwede at gusto at ipagpapatuloy pa rin ang pagbibigay ng booster shots hanggang sa susunod na taon. Ang karamihan sa mga binigay sa amin dito noong una ay Sinovac at Sinopharm na dapat ay mabigyan na ng booster shots after six months of the second dose,” Escudero said.