March 27, 2023

Sites for large gatherings and churches can be considered as  vaccination areas in Benguet, according to the Provincial Health Office, as part of its response in encouraging the public to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

“Groups and churches can come and coordinate with our office and we will set up vaccination areas during their gatherings. If the PHO staff are not available, we could link them to their respective municipal health offices,” said Provincial Health Officer 1 Meliarazon Dulay.

Dulay said PHO has also coordinated with the different agencies and large groups to help advocate to their colleagues and their dependents as well as to get vaccinated.

PHO and the 13 municipal health offices and barangays in the province have done what they can to boost vaccination in their respective areas.

She said house-to-house vaccination is still being conducted at the barangay level, adding the vaccination is also maintained at the rural health units, as there are no more mega sites for vaccination. 

PHO data as of June 8 shows that Benguet has fully vaccinated 243,885 out of the 394,649 targeted population, or 61.80 percent, which is way below the 70 percent target vaccination rate.

Also, there are 17,790 partially vaccinated individuals, whom Dulay said are the target to be convinced to get their second dose. 

Among senior citizens (A2), the province is at 60.19 percent coverage or 20,970 fully vaccinated seniors out of the 34,841 targeted population.

Only three municipalities have reached 70 percent coverage namely Buguias at 74.02 percent, La Trinidad at 71.15 percent, and Tublay at 77.25 percent.

Kibungan remains to have the lowest coverage at 39.39 percent fully vaccinated individuals.

Dulay said they have also coordinated with the Department of Education Benguet division office for the possibility of the setup of school-based immunization against Covid-19 specifically for the five to 11 years old and 12 to 17 years old. 

In the Cordillera, the provinces of Benguet and Ifugao have logged the lowest vaccination rates with Ifugao at 53.89 percent or 92,762 fully vaccinated individuals of its 172,134 target.

The Department of Health-Cordillera has encouraged both provinces to reach its 70 percent target coverage.

Dulay urged the public to get vaccinated or boosted as it will be the community’s protection against the new Covid-19 variants coming out.

She urged the public to err on the side of safety through observance of the minimum public health and safety and to recognize that Covid-19 is real based on previous experience. – Ofelia C. Empian