Local execs ‘frustrated’ over NegOcc’s low vax coverage rate

The Negros Occidental provincial government continues to face challenges in hitting its coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination coverage target, especially among its elderly population.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Monday he doesn’t see the province reaching its goal by the end of June even with the eight-day Provincial Vaccination Days scheduled this month.

“No, not all. We are still experiencing difficulty in convincing some sectors to have themselves vaccinated,” he told reporters.

Lacson said in his recent meeting with Mayor Renato Gustilo of San Carlos City, which has not been doing well in the Covid-19 vaccination campaign, the mayor expressed disappointment in the northern city’s low vaccination coverage rate.

The governor also said Gustilo told him that as the local chief executive, he has been “creating new enemies” because of his campaign to have more of his constituents vaccinated.

Lacson noted the individuals who refuse to get jabbed are saying they just don’t believe in the Covid-19 vaccine, and they usually belong to religious sectors that have been espousing the anti-vaccination stance.

“It’s the same line of reasoning that has been given before. Mayor Gustilo is also quite frustrated,” he said.

This month, the Provincial Health Office has scheduled a Covid-19 vaccination blitz on June 2 and 3, June 9-10, June 16-17, and June 21-22 to boost coverage rate among the Negrenses.

Data of the Department of Health-Western Visayas (DOH-6) as of June 13 showed Negros Occidental has fully vaccinated 930,099 individuals aged 18 to 59, or 65.06 percent of the 1.429 million target population.

A total of 990,865 Negrenses, or 69.31 percent, have already availed of the first dose in the said age group.

In the A2 group, which are senior citizens or those 60 years old and above, 136,073 individuals, or 50.47 percent of the target 269,602 vaccinees have been fully vaccinated while 138,614 elderly persons, or 51.41 percent, have availed of the first dose.

The coverage rate among Negros Occidental’s senior citizens is the second lowest in Western Visayas, next to Antique, which has logged 49.48 percent for the fully vaccinated and 51.13 percent for the first dose recipients.

Among the 12 to 17 age group, Negros Occidental has fully vaccinated 224,112, or 74.46 percent of the target 300,001 individuals while 242,842 or 80.68 percent have received the first dose.

Among the 5 to 11 children, some 59,582 minors or 16.40 percent of the 363,249 target population have been fully vaccinated while 83,175 or 22.90 percent have availed of the first dose.

Given its low vaccination coverage rate among the senior citizens, the entire Negros Occidental cannot yet be de-escalated to Alert Level 1, the lowest category in the country’s Covid-19 alert level system.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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