Legazpi City ––Over half million Bicolanos are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 out of 1,484, 180 doses of vaccines received by the Department of Health-Center for Health and Development in Bicol.    

Dr. Rita Mae Ang-Bon, DOH regional vaccination program coordinator said during the Ulat sa Bayan on Wednesday that as of September 21, a total of 554, 975 Bicolanos are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 while 538, 801 others are waiting for its second dose of vaccination.

Ang-Bon said that out of 1,484,180 doses of COVID-19 vaccines received in the region, 1, 093, 776 people were vaccinated or 74 percent have been utilized.

The health official said that more than its estimated target of 85, 506 medical frontliners, the DOH CHD Bicol already administered full vaccines to 143, 891 while 211, 602 or 45 percent senior citizens in Bicol also received complete shots.

At least 163, 336 individuals with comorbidity and 33,587 essential workers are also fully inoculated against Covid-19.

Among the six provinces of Bicol, Albay hit 15 percent covering 283, 337 vaccinations followed by the island province of Catanduanes with 16 percent covering 65, 475 vaccinations.

While the provinces of Camarines Sur and Sorsogon attained at least 13 percent from the target population. Masbate and Camarines Norte both inoculated 11 percent of its locals against coronavirus.

Ang-Bon explained that vaccines do not mean the virus cannot enter into a vaccinated body but guarantee additional protection against the global pandemic.

“What we would like to attain is to prevent the progress and increase of severe or serious forms of COVID-19. This is our main goal of vaccination and so prevention of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19,” she said.

The health official urged the Bicolanos to get any available vaccines, irrespective of its brands as all vaccines are proven safe and effective.

Ang-Bon also reiterated to the public to continuously practice minimum health standards, to curtail the spread of coronavirus in the countryside.

In Legazpi City, Mayor Noel Rosal, said that as of September 19, at least 48,999 people from all walks of life are fully vaccinated out of 111,223 total vaccines administered here.

Rosal is aiming to vaccinate 80 to 90 percent of the eligible Legazpeños for vaccination to attain the herd immunity and get back to new normal.

The city government of Legazpi allotted P200 million for the purchase of vaccines to vaccinate the residents including those people working in Legazpi.

This week a simultaneous vaccination will be done in Legazpi among the A3 and A4 category with QR code and covax number after additional Covid-19 vaccines arrived here.

Rosal said that 5,000 of Moderna vaccines arrived at the city health office (CHO) Legazpi for the second dose.  Other vaccines set to arrive in Legazpi City on September 24 were Sinovac, Pfizer and Sputnik.

Rosal, Bicol region Regional Development Council chairman lauded the national government and the United States initiatives for facilitating the continuous arrival of Covid-19 vaccines in the countryside.

The United States partnered with the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility to deliver an additional 2,582,190 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to the Philippines as part of its worldwide effort to help end COVID-19.   

The vaccines, delivered in separate shipments on September 19 and 20, were part of the 500 million doses Pfizer the United States is making available for distribution through COVAX, a global initiative to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. 

Newly arrived U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava joined Philippine government officials and other stakeholders at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to welcome the arrival of 2,020,590 doses last September 19 and 561,600 doses on September 20.  

As the largest donor to the COVAX facility, the United States has facilitated the delivery of more than 16 million vaccine doses to the Philippines via COVAX, including more than 9 million doses donated by the American people. 

The United States has worked closely with Philippine stakeholders throughout the pandemic to protect public health and support the local response to COVID-19.  To date, total U.S. government COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines amounts to over Php1.9 billion ($39 million). (By: Raneza Sabina Barcebal)

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