By Joseph B.A. Marzan
The Iloilo provincial government on Thursday spearheaded another mass coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination activity at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol to kick off two celebrations—the World Heart Day and the Employees Health and Wellness Day.
The initiative is part of the provincial government’s strategies for an aggressive COIVD vaccination push.
Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr.’s was joined by Iloilo Provincial Health Office (IPHO) chief Maria Socorro Quiñon, and Department of Health-Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH-WV CHD) Regional Director Dr. Adriano Suba-an during the kickoff.
Also present were World Health Organization (WHO) Philippines officer-in-charge Dr. Graham Harrison and other partner guests of the WHO and the provincial government.
During a press conference after the launch, Suba-an said that vaccination activities like these were essential to address the current COVID-19 vaccination backlogs in Western Visayas.
He emphasized that their current COVID vaccination push, which includes both primary series and first and second booster shots, was one of the key programs they are promoting aside from heart health.
The regional health chief added that by encouraging more senior citizens to get vaccinated for their primary series, as well as booster shots for the general adult population, face-to-face work and classes would be closer to being realized.
“To date, we still need to reach 94,000 senior citizens in Western Visayas for their primary dose; and around 1.5 million eligible general population for booster to reach our target of 90 percent of senior citizens and 30 of the general population with booster for the first 100 Days of [President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s] administration,” Suba-an said.
“As of [the DOH-WV CHD’s] September 28 data, we only posted 1.66 percent accomplishment for senior citizens, or 1,603 of the target 96,522. For [overall] booster shots, we are currently at 8.70 percent accomplishment or 147,658 of the 1,696,615 target,” he added.
In his own press conference, Defensor said that they are yet to see the accomplishments made from their other COVID vaccination activities.
“We adjusted our approach to blending the [COVID] vaccine program and the booster administration, like our NutriVac [in July] and our Bakuna Ulayhon sa Programa. We enjoined local government units and private sector partners to integrate vaccinations in gatherings, taking advantage of the mobility and circulation of the people,” the governor said in his press conference.
The governor added that still sees the provincial government moving ahead with more COVID vaccination strategies beyond the DOH’s current PinasLakas scheme.
IPHO data as of September 29 indicated that there was 1.37 million people who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Out of this number, 1.28 million have been fully vaccinated under the primary two-dose series as well as the one-dose Janssen vaccine, while 268,881 have received their first booster shot and 17,054 have received their second booster shot.