DAVAO CITY (MindaNews) – The Davao region has yet to attain herd immunity against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), recording only 3.3 million fully vaccinated individuals or 86.8% of the target population of 3.8 million as of September 19, the Department of Health (DOH) regional office reported.
During the Kapihan sa Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Davao on Friday, Dr. Janis Olavides, head of the vaccination team of the DOH-Davao, said only Davao City attained herd immunity after it tallied a total of 1,336,929 individuals fully vaccinated against the COVID-19, surpassing its target of 1,327,323.
Olavides said they hope to meet their vaccination target of 3.796 million to achieve herd immunity, representing 70% of the region’s total population.
Olavides said local government units are doubling their efforts to improve vaccination coverage in their respective communities.
In the provinces, Davao Oriental has 369,582 fully vaccinated individuals or 87.7% of its target population; Davao del Norte with 629,285 fully vaccinated or 87.7% of its target; Davao de Oro with 416,018 fully vaccinated or 76.2% of its target; Davao Occidental with 176,466 fully vaccinated or 73.5% of its target; and Davao del Sur with 365,881 fully vaccinated or 71.2% of its target.
She said vaccine hesitancy remains one of the challenges they face in the inoculation campaign.
Olavides said available brands at vaccination hubs in the region are Comirnaty of US-based Pfizer and Coronavac of China-based Sinovac.
“These are the same COVID vaccines. It is the manufacturer that’s different… That is the reason why we are allowed heterologous (vaccination) because these are all the same COVID vaccines,” she said.
She said the region has a buffer stock of 300,000 Comirnaty doses and 7,000 Coronavac doses.
She said the regional office would request additional vaccines from the national government when supplies run low.
Olavides added they are working with the Department of Education-Davao to encourage parents to have their children vaccinated against the virus, especially since face-to-face classes have resumed.
Health authorities continue to urge the public to wear the face masks even after the issuance of an executive order making optional the wearing of face masks in public.
As there is still risk of contracting COVID-19, she said face masks are an additional layer of protection not only against COVID-19 but also against other airborne diseases.
She said the region has a total of 1,200 active cases as of September 18.
“Let’s continue our minimum public health standards,” she said as she asked the public to continue wearing masks. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)
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