BY DOMINIQUE GABRIEL G. BAÑAGA
BACOLOD City – Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson acknowledged the slowdown in Negros Occidental’s vaccination campaign against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) but he remained hopeful of the province achieving herd immunity against the disease by February 2022.
As of Dec. 24, Negros Occidental had fully vaccinated 36.84 percent of its target population, data from the Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas showed. On the other hand, 22.17 percent were partially vaccinated (got one dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine).
Negros Occidental needs to vaccinate at least 40.99 percent more of its target population to achieve herd immunity.
Bacolod City, on the other hand, already exceeded its 70-percent vaccination target; to date, it had vaccinated 93.33 percent of its target population.
According to Lacson, the provincial government already vaccinated 1.18 million people, with 400,000 more waiting for their second dose.
“We will try, but I’m sure we’ll be pretty close to that (herd immunity) already,” Lacson said.
The vaccination slowdown was more pronounced in the southern part of the province, he said, where super typhoon “Odette” unleashed her fury on Dec. 16.
But there’s some good news. Despite the devastation, especially on the power supply, Lacson said they have not received reports of vaccine spoilage.
Last week, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ernell Tumimbang said the vaccination drive in the province slowed down.
But it has become more urgent, too, he stressed, because physical distancing was sacrificed when the typhoon hit./PN