Mass vaccination vs COVID enhanced in Region 12

FIRST DOSE. Roxan Siason, a Department of Health nurse in Sarangani Province, extracts the first dose of the Sinovac-made vaccine, CoronaVac, to be administered on medical frontliners on Sunday, March 7, 2021, a day ahead of the regional schedule. MindaNews photo by ROMMEL G. REBOLLIDO

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 29 July) – The mass vaccination activities in Region 12 against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have shifted to high gear as more vaccine supplies arrived in the area.

Dr. Edvir Jane Montañer, Department of Health (DOH)-Region 12 immunization manager, said on Thursday the rural health units (RHUs) have doubled their efforts to cover more eligible individuals on a daily basis and maximize the utilization of the available vaccines.

She said the vaccine supplies delivered by the national vaccine operations center to the region have steadily increased in the last three weeks and more are expected to arrive in the coming days as RHUs ramp up their coverage.

“Our inoculation activities are now at a faster pace and rest assured that we already have enough vaccines to cover the target individuals,” Montañer said in a virtual press briefing.

Fort this month alone, the national government allotted a total of 645,029 vaccine doses for the region, with the bulk already delivered to the RHUs.

The delivery comprised AstraZeneca, Sinovac’s CoronaVac, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen, and Gamaleya’s Sputnik V vaccines.

Montañer said the vaccination remains focused on priority groups A1 (front-line health workers), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 (persons with comorbidities), especially those situated in geographically isolated and highly populated impoverished areas.

The rollout is also ongoing for land and sea-based overseas workers who are due for deployment within four months.

She said the inoculation of essential workers under priority group A4 already started in this city covering fishing and cannery workers and it will be expanded soon to other localities.

The official said the target recipients include tricycle drivers, market vendors, and government workers aged 40-years-old and above.

A report released by DOH-12 on Thursday showed that some 199,050 individuals in the region under priority groups A1, A2, and A3 have already been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Under the A1 group, a total of 63,179 individuals have received their first dose of the vaccine, with 51,059 listed as fully vaccinated or 80.82 percent of the 78,521 target.

Some 72,692 individuals under A2 out of the 321,870 target were vaccinated with their first dose while 42,854 have completed the required two doses.

Of the 96,173 target recipients under A3, a total of 57,924 have already received their first dose while 28,553 are now fully vaccinated.

Montañer said they expect the figures to increase in the coming days as more individuals have been signing up to get the vaccines through the RHUs.

“Hopefully we can reach our target of reaching population protection before the end of the year,” she said. (MindaNews)