Sorsogon health chief bullish on vaccine campaign

By Bobby Q. Labalan


SORSOGON, City --- Only about twenty-three to thirty-six percent of the total Priority Eligible A target population for vaccination had so far availed of the COVID-19 vaccines in the province of Sorsogon.


This was revealed by the Provincial Health Office in a report dated June 17, 2021 furnished this publication pertaining to the vaccination program of the government in the campaign to stem the tide of the pandemic.


Dr. Renato Bolo, acting provincial health officer of Sorsogon, said that the total target population is about 88,890 composed of frontline health service workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities in that order of priority.


Of the three groups, senior citizens comprised the biggest target population at 58,723 followed by persons with comorbidities at 16,279 and frontline health workers with 13,588. However, out of these numbers cited, only 6,439 had availed among seniors, 4,024 for persons with comorbidities and 9,977 for health workers.


The report stated that 13,522 had availed of the Sinovac vaccine wherein 9,127 of them had completed the second dose while 6,865 waited for Astra-Zeneca but only 941 had so far obtained the second shot.


Bolo cited four major reasons for the low turn out of vaccine recipients in the province but primarily blames it to the refusal or hesitancy of the people to be vaccinated due to a host of issues, among them are the “fear of side effects, having a set of comorbidities, allergies, lack of time, allergies, plain dislike to be vaccinated, doctor’s advice, low immune system, breastfeeding, religious belief, indecisiveness, family decision no to get vaccinated while others are waiting for Pfizer vaccine”.


Also mentioned in the report as among the causes of delay were the limited number of vaccines delivered by the Department of Health, changes in the scheduled date of vaccination due to exposure of vaccination staff to COVID-positive individuals and the realignment of vaccine master list.


Bolo explained that the non-appearance of some individuals in the list during their schedule also contributes to the delay because there has to be a complete number of vaccine recipients before it can proceed, unlike in other vaccination program which can proceed anytime regardless of the number of individuals present to receive the vaccine.


He said the province had received a total of 38,056 doses of vaccines, 30,566 of which are Sinovac while the balance of 7,490 are Astrazeneca.


The health chief said that the remaining vaccine doses will be gone in two weeks’ time and they still don’t have information when would be the delivery by the DOH.


He, however, stressed that the vaccine only protects vaccinated individuals from the severe effects of the virus and that they could still be infected and, in turn, infect others.


As of June 22, Sorsogon province has a total of 2,457 cases, 302 of which are active, 118 have died and 2,037 have recovered.


Sorsogon City remains the highest with 140 active cases, irosin has 25, Bulan has 24, Gubat-21,Matnog-15, Juban-14, Magallanes-11, Preito-Diaz-9, Castilla and Sta. Magdalena-8 each, Pilar-7, Donsol-6,Casiguran and Bulusan-5 a piece and Barcelona with 4 active cases.