DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 04 July) – Only 75,853 persons or 1.6% of the Davao region’s 4.9 million population are fully vaccinated as of June 29, half of them residents of Davao City, according to data from the Department of Health (DOH) regional office.
DOH-Davao reported that out of 709,150 doses the region received since March 2, only 75,853 persons have received their second dose as of June 29, half of them — 37,267 — residents of Davao City.
Comprising the five Davao provinces – de Oro, del Norte, del Sur, Occidental and Oriental – and the cities of Davao, Panabo, Samal, Tagum, Digos, and Mati, the region has a population of 4,893,318 as of the 2015 census, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. The number of persons to be vaccinated in the region to achieve 70% herd immunity is 3.4 million.
As of June 29, the number of fully vaccinated residents – 75,853 – is only 2.2% of the 3.4 million needed for herd immunity.
The Davao region has the highest number of cases across Mindanao’s six regions.
As of June 29, when the number of fully vaccinated residents in the region was only 75,853 or 1.6% in a population of 4.9 million, the region posted 42,213 cases (9,548 active, 31,840 recoveries and 1,418 deaths). Of this number, Davao City reported 24,362 cases (4,840 active, 18,651 recoveries and 871 deaths).
Four days later, on July 3, the regional cases had risen to 44,222 (9,732 active, 33,045 recoveries and 1,445 deaths). Of this number, Davao City logged 25,356 cases (4,462 active, 20,010 recoveries and 884 deaths).
The DOH regional office has yet to release its statistics on how many residents have been partially and fully vaccinated as of July 3. Its last report was June 29.
Between March 2 and June 23, the DOH-Davao received a total of 709,150 doses of vaccines manufactured by Sinovac (316,400), Pfizer (239,850), AstraZeneca (239,850) and Gamaleya (900).
Of 709,150 doses, a total of 443,825 have been allocated for first dose and 348,723 or 78.6% have been administered as of June 29.
For the second dose, a total of 265,325 have been allocated but only 75,853 or a measly 28.6% have been administered as of June 29.
Davao City, which has a population of 1.6 million as of the 2015 census, got the highest allocation of vaccines: out of 443,825 regional allocation for the first dose, it was allocated 248,435 or 56%; Davao del Norte (population: 1,016,332) was allocated 64,440 or 14.5% of the regional allocation; Davao de Oro (population: 736,107) was allocated 41,940 or 9.4% of 443,825 doses; Davao del Sur (population: 632,588) was allocated 37,850 or 8.5%; Davao Oriental (population: 558,958) was allocated 34,960 or 7.9%; and Davao Occidental (population: 316,342) was allocated 37,850 or 3.7% of the regional allocation.
Out of 265,325 regional allocation for second dose, Davao City again got the highest at 182,735 but it has administered the second dose only on 37,267 residents or 20.4% as of June 29. The fully vaccinated residents represent only 2.3% of its population.
Davao del Norte was allocated 26,140 doses and has administered it on 14,136 residents or 54.1%. But the fully vaccinated residents account for only 1.4% of its population.
Davao de Oro was allocated 19,640 doses and has administered it on 8,473 residents or 43.1%. The fully vaccinated residents account for only 1.2% of its population.
Davao del Sur was allocated 15,250 doses and 7,164 or 1.1% of the population, were given the second dose.
Davao Oriental was allocated 15,360 and had administered it to 7,230 residents (1.3% of the population) while Davao Occidental was allocated 6,200 and out of this, 1,583 (.5% of the population) were administered the second dose.
In response to MindNews’ query on the vaccine statistics in the region, the DOH-Davao replied that “the data reflected on the region’s report is based on the submitted official data of the local government units, upon clarification as to actual daily number of jabs, gaps were noted. There is a challenge in the real time submission of report.”
DOH-Davao regional director Annabelle Yumang told a virtual presser on June 28 that only Davao City, so far, has been allowed to start vaccinating residents under the A4 category.
According to DOH Memorandum 2021-0259 issued on May 31, 2021, the first phase of the vaccination roll-out for Priority A4 is the National Capital Region (NCR) + 8, referring to Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao.
The memorandum said these are areas with “high burden of disease and loci of economic activities” and their workers are “at high risk of contracting COVID-19.”
Priority A4 as determined by the Recovery Cluster and approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) refers to “workers in the private and public/government sectors and the informal (including self-employed and working in private households) sector, fulfilling two main criteria: individuals who are physically reporting to the workplace; or individuals who are currently deployed or assigned to perform fieldwork.
MindaNews sought clarification with Yumang on the roll-out of vaccines for the A4 category. The DOH memorandum states “Metro Davao” but in her presser last Monday, she mentioned only Davao City.
“Metro Davao” comprises the cities of Davao; Digos in Davao del Sur; Panabo, Samal and Tagum in Davao del Norte; and the towns of Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur and Carmen in Davao del Norte.
Yumang told MindaNews on Sunday that according to the National Vaccination Operations Center, it is “Davao City only.”
More vaccination sites
Yumang in the same presser said arrangements were being made by the private and public sectors on setting up vaccination sites where their employees could get their jabs.
The Ateneo de Davao University in Davao City opened a vaccination site in its Jacinto campus for its employees and those of member-schools of the Davao Association of Catholic Schools.
Bong Eliab, ADDU Executive Vice President told MindaNews on Saturday that in the first batch on July 2 and 3, a total of 1,300 employees were vaccinated. He said they expect to vaccinate 2,000 to 3,500 in the second batch on July 9 and 10.
According to Yumang, the Association of Regional Executives of National Agencies (ARENA) in the region was arranging for a vaccination site where government employees can go to. The University of the Philippines-Mindanao hosted the vaccination sessions on June 30 to July 2.
Under the DOH categories, Priority A1 refers to frontline workers in health facilities both national and local, private and public, health professionals and non-professionals like students, nursing aides, janitors, barangay health workers, etc; Priority A2 are senior citizens aged 60 years old and above; A3 are persons with comorbidities not otherwise included in the preceding categories, and A5 are indigents not otherwise included in the preceding categories. The other categories are classified under B and C.
Yumang acknowledged problems of storage for the vaccines. She said only the regional office and the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) have ultra low freezers. She said they plan to buy ULFs to give to each province so that they can store vaccines with storage requirements of -72 to -80 degrees Celsius. Travel time from province to the municipalities is shorter if there are ULFs in each province.
She said she hopes the vaccines are administered immediately, “within five to six days” from arrival in the towns.
Yumang noted the long queues in the vaccination sites show the eagerness of the people to get vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
In the June 28 virtual presser, Yumang said they have reached 97.8% of the target for Priority A1 or the health frontliners. This percentage, however, refers to those who have received their first dose.
She presented a slide showing statistics on how many people have been vaccinated per category. According to the June 27 statistics, a total of 75,486 persons have been fully vaccinated: 59,909 for A1 or health frontliners, 12,048 for A2 or senior citizens and 3,529 for A3 or those with co-morbidities.
According to the same slide, the “masterlisted eligible population” for A1 in the region is 88,755, out of which 59,909 or 67.5% have had their second dose. The 97.8% she was referring to is the number of those who had received their first jab:
The “masterlisted eligible population” for A2 in the region is 367,350, out of which 12,048 or 3.3% have been fully vaccinated.
In the A3 category, out of 139,175 “masterlisted eligible population” in the region, only 3,529 or 2.5% have been fully vaccinated.
The DOH-Davao has yet to release its statistical data per category as of July 3. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)