February 1, 2023

Baguio has inoculated 70 percent of its adult population, ahead of the target date set by the national government.

Department of Health Medical Officer 3 Anachris Kilakil announced during the vaccination drive organized by the Commission on Higher Education at the University of Baguio the City Health Services Office has already fully vaccinated the 70 percent eligible population ahead of the Nov. 12 target of the national government.

As of Nov. 11, 72.13 percent or 203,674 out of the 281,000 eligible population has been fully inoculated.

In the same event, Mayor Benjamin Magalong acknowledged the cooperation of the public and the dedication of health workers in helping achieve this target, but he said the city still has a long way to go as he said the local government units’ target should be higher than the one set by the national government.

For the adult and pediatric population, Magalong said the target is to inoculate at least 95 percent.

Asked if it is safe to declare that Baguio has reached “population protection” or “herd immunity,” Kilakil said there is a panel of experts that would officially declare such. While the vaccination of the pediatric population and preparation for booster shots are ongoing, it is still early to conclude that herd immunity has already been achieved. 

“What’s clear is most of the people of Baguio have already been given added protection against the Covid-19,” Kila-kil said.

In his recent visit to the city, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez has attributed the high vaccination rate in Baguio to the high level of confidence in vaccination by the people of Baguio.

“Wala masyadong hesitancy kumpara sa ibang lugar,” Galvez said, adding that lack of confidence and deployment of vaccines to geographically isolated areas are among the challenges that vaccination teams of LGUs are trying to address.

To further increase the number of vaccinees, the DOH has organized national vaccination days from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.

He said the target is to inoculate two to five million people per day at 5,000 to 8,000 vaccination sites nationwide.

As of Nov. 9, 36.3 million individuals in the country have been fully inoculated.

The DOH is also targeting to administer booster shots for those in the A1 and A2 categories by the last week of November.

Galvez said they are only awaiting for the clearance from the World Health Organization and Philippine Food and Drug Administration before they begin injecting the so-called third doses, or booster shots of the anti-Covid-19 vaccines.

He reminded that while there is now an enough supply of vaccines, those who have yet to be vaccinated cannot choose their preferred brand of vaccine.

Mahihirapan tayo sa logistics kung mamimili ng brand,” Galvez said, reiterating that all vaccines available in the country are effective in fighting the SARS-CoV2.

Pfizer, Moderna, and Sinovac are the companies that have already applied with the FDA for an emergency use authorization for the administration of booster shots. – Rimaliza A. Opiña