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Cebu News

DOH-7 to work harder to achieve vax targets

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Department of Health in Central Visayas has committed to double its efforts, along with national agencies, in ramping up vaccination drive following continued failure to hit targets.

 In a statement, DOH-7 regional director Jaime Bernadas said that Central Visayas has a total target of 677,108 senior citizens and as of August 11, 2022, the fully vaccinated senior citizens in the region is at 406,429 or 60.02% only.

Bernadas said that the first booster target of the region is 3,476,662, and 695,971 or 20.02% have already been given first booster shots.

Mandaue has the most number of seniors already done with first booster at 36.73%, Siquijor at 31.89%, Cebu City at 30.73%, Negros Oriental at 24.07%, Lapu-Lapu at 18.59%, Cebu Province at 20.38%, and Bohol at 17.08%.

"It’s still a long way to go to reach the targets for our senior citizens and the first booster shots. We encourage everyone to get their COVID-19 vaccines so that we can fully resume our normal activities,” Bernadas said.

For the 5-11 years old, only 224,139 of the 793,778 target have been fully vaccinated yet or 28.24% with Siquijor having the highest coverage at 59.79%, followed by Cebu City at 41.59% and Bohol at 35.34%.

The lowest is Cebu Province with 21.93% yet of its target population fully vaccinated.

For the  12-17 years old in the region, 637,675 of the 651,704 have been fully vaccinated or 97.85% but only 1.44% of them are yet boosted.

In Cebu City, out of the 89.65% fully vaccinated, 3.74% are yet boosted while the rest of the first booster coverage of the other LGUs saw Mandaue with 2.06%, Lapu-Lapu at 1.97%, Bohol at 1.38%, Cebu Province at 0.88%, Negros Oriental at 0.95% and Siquijor at 0.92%

 The DOH-7 head added that if the vulnerable group has achieved 90% vaccination coverage, the rest of the adult population is protected against variants provided by booster shots.Bernadas said that for the 5-11 years old, only 224,139 of the 793,778 targets have been fully vaccinated or 28.24%.

For the 12-17 years old, 637,675 of the 651,704 have been fully vaccinated or 97.85%.

“Looking at the coverage for these two age groups, we need to double our efforts in ensuring that the opening of face to face classes for elementary level are safe and students are given added layer of protection afforded by the COVID-19 vaccines,” Bernadas said.

Bernadas also encouraged parents and guardians to bring their children to the nearest vaccination posts for them to be vaccinated.

The department also called on the workers in the education sector to have themselves vaccinated and boosted to protect themselves and keep the schools safe.

For a safe workplace, the department recenly conducted the Scaling up “Sa Booster, Pinaslakas campaign” in Mactan Economic Zone in Lapu-Lapu City which targets workforce that can help strengthen our wall of immunity so that our economy can continue to recover.

 “Free, safe, and effective booster doses are made more accessible in our schools, malls, terminals, and community center-based vaccination sites to strengthen our community protection,” Bernadas further said.

Lowest

In the data reported by the DOH-7, Cebu Province has the lowest percentage coverage for ages 5-11 for fully vaccinated among the provinces and cities in the region at only 21.93%.

Meanwhile, among ages 12-17, the region gave a fair percentage coverage with Negros Oriental being the lowest in fully vaccinated coverage at 89.65%.

Latest data from the Department of Education showed that there are already 1,510,723 students registered in the region for the opening of face-to-face classes.

DOH-7 urged parents and guardians to bring their children to the nearest vaccination booths to avail of the vaccine.

DOH has defined the vaccination strategy as a stronger nationwide booster vaccination that aims to encourage, promote, and advocate with the Filipinos for increased uptake and demand of the COVID-19 primary series and booster vaccines.

Through the campaign, booster doses are made more accessible in schools, malls, terminals, and community center-based vaccination sites to further endorse and upscale community protection.

DepEd-7 Director Salustiano Jimenez reiterated last week that vaccines are not a prerequesite for enrollment in the coming face-to-face classes however, students and teachers are still encouraged to avail.

President Bongbong Marcos also pushed for students to get their COVID-19 booster shots ahead of the start of face-to-face classes later this month. – Caecent No-ot Magsumbol and Darlene Joy Gil, CNU Intern, JMD (FREEMAN)

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