Over 600,000 remain unvaccinated in Central Visayas

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital Multimedia Reporter | December 06,2022 - 09:54 AM
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Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine labels are seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – More than 600,000 individuals in Central Visayas remain unvaccinated against COVID-19, local regional health officials said.

As of December 4, the Department of Health in the region (DOH-7) recorded to have administered over 10.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine since the vaccination rollout began in the first half of 2021. 

DOH-7 said more than 4.8 million individuals in Central Visayas have already been fully vaccinated which means they have received at least two doses of the vaccine. 

The figures translate to a COVID-19 vaccination coverage rate of 83.95 percent, the regional health office added. 

However, they revealed that 646,371 individuals, including those in the pediatric group and senior citizens, have not yet received even the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Based on the same DOH-7 data, approximately 270,000 individuals in Central Visayas only got the first dose of the vaccine. They need to get the second dose of the vaccine in order to be considered as fully vaccinated. 

Health officials in Central Visayas initially targeted to vaccinate at least 3 million individuals when the COVID-19 immunization drive began last year. 

They later increased their target to around 8 million in 2022 following the issuance of new directives from the national government, which include expanding the coverage of the vaccine to children aged five to 17 years old. 

Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH-7 director, said they will continue to ramp up their COVID-19 vaccination campaign, particularly among school children. 

“We will be increasing our (COVID-19 vaccine) coverage for school children who are now going back to F2F (face-to-face) classes. (Increasing) our coverage for fully vaccinated adults and children (will also include) boosters,” Bernadas told reporters during a press briefing on Monday, December 5. 

He also said they will intensify their efforts in making sure minors and the adult population, which refers to those aged between 18 to 59 years old, get at least one booster shot of the vaccine. 

Bernadas added that increasing the community’s COVID-19 immunization coverage rate is essential for a safe and healthy transition to the new normal.

DOH-7 recorded that as of December 4, only 939, 930 individuals in Central Visayas were administered with the booster dose. 

They are aiming to administer at least one booster dose to close to 2 million individuals in the region. 

For the pediatric population aged five to 11 years old, local health officials still need to vaccinate at least 488,000 children. So far, DOH-7 has administered two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to 260,307 children from this age group.  

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TAGS: Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Central Visayas, Central Visayas news, COVID-19, Covid-19 vaccine, DOH-7, Dr. Jaime Bernadas
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