N. Samar gov’t eyes anti-Covid jabs for 70% of population

The provincial government of Northern Samar will cover at least 70 percent of its more than 500,000 population in the vaccination program against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Governor Edwin Marino Ongchuan said on Saturday the budgetary requirement is estimated to reach about PHP2.2 billion at two doses per person and with the type of vaccine recommended by local health officials.

“With 70 percent or more of our constituents vaccinated against (the) coronavirus, we can hope to have herd immunity in the province,” Ongchuan said in a press statement.

He acknowledged that the program requires an enormous sum but said it is possible if the national government and other local government units (LGUs) help share the cost.

“We hope the national government will extend support to this noble objective and encourage our LGUs to also allocate counterpart funds,” he added.

The provincial government is also planning to use a portion of its accumulated savings from 2013 to 2020 amounting to PHP1.2 billion.

Initially, the provincial disaster risk reduction and management office has allocated PHP10 million for the province’s vaccination program.

“The first batch of supply will be administered to front-liners being at the forefront in the Covid-19 response and the most at risk of acquiring and transmitting the virus. Others will receive the vaccine in the succeeding phases,” Ongchuan said.

The order of priority in the immunization program is health workers and other front-liners, senior citizens, indigent constituents, uniformed personnel, and the general populace, according to the provincial government.

As of January 7, the province has recorded a total of 1,315 Covid-19 cases, including 1,215 recoveries and 19 deaths. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News agency

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