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Over 800K Bicolanos already vaxxed - DOH

By Rhaydz B. Barcia

The Department of Health (DOH) said some 812,341 residents of the Bicol region have been already inoculated as of the third week of August out of the 3.68 million target population to be vaccinated to attain the herd immunity in the region, but despite of this number, local officials continue to complain of insufficient vaccine supply.

Noemi Bron, DOH Bicol health education and promotion officer, said that the region already received a total of 1,003,834 vaccines doses, 601,033 of which were administered for the first dose, while 211,308 were used as second dose.

Among the six Bicol provinces, Camarines Sur received the highest number of vaccine with 323,876 doses; Albay with 251,482 doses; Masbate, 140,050 doses; Sorsogon,133,908 doses; Camarines Norte, 86,262 doses; and Catanduanes 68,256 doses, for a total of 1,003,834 doses.

Dr. Rita Mae Ang-Bon, DOH Bicol spokesperson for the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, said that the health department is aiming to vaccinate some 3.68 million Bicolanos to attain herd immunity, but the turnout of persons willing to be inoculated as of press time remains extremely low.

Bon said that DOH is targeting 3.68 million or 60 percent of eligible Bicolanos to be inoculated out of six million population to attain herd immunity in the region.

Bicol region has 6,082,165 population as of May 1, 2020 based on the 2020 Census of Population and Housing (2020 CPH). This accounts for about 5.58 percent of the country’s population in 2020.

The 2020 population of the region is higher by 285,176 from the population of 5.80 million in 2015, and 661,754 more than the population of 5.42 million in 2010.

DOH data show that Bicolanos who were fully vaccinated with Janssen vaccine are as follow: A1 category or workers in frontline health services, 125,448; A2 or senior citizens, 195,400; A3 or persons with comorbidities or illnesses, 111,867; A4 or uniformed personnel, 12,045; and 1,289 for other priority groups or a total of 446,049 Bicolanos.

Bon said that the turnout of people for the government’s vaccination drive remains extremely low, however, local officials are complaining of the limited number of vaccines in the region.

Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal said that they are aiming to vaccinate 70 to 80 percent of the city’s 209,533 populations to attain the herd immunity by December, but he said that vaccine supply is limited though Legazpi City is among the priority areas in the government vaccination campaign in the country.

“We are aiming to vaccinate 70 to 80 percent of our 209, 533 population to achieve the herd immunity. But our concern is the limited supply of vaccines. We are hoping that more vaccines will arrive in Bicol specifically in Legazpi so we could be able to attain the herd immunity, hopefully in December,” Rosal said.

Rosal designated several malls in Legazpi such as SM City Legazpi, Ayala Mall, Gaisano, and Legazpi City Convention Center as vaccination sites aside from the vaccinations centers in the barangays.

Legazpi City has the biggest population among the seven cities in Bicol. It surpassed the population of Naga City (209,170); Sorsogon City (182, 237); Tabaco City (140,961); Ligao City (118,096); and Iriga City (114,457).

Bicol’s local officials are clamoring for more vaccines to vaccinate their constituents to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in their areas.

The cumulative cases of Covid-19 in the region from Mar. 27, 2020 to Aug. 27, 2021 totaled to 24,986 with active cases of 4,141 and 936 fatalities.

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