Despite focus, Cebu LGUs remain poor vax performers

·3 min read

SEVEN of the 10 local government units (LGUs) identified by the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH 7) over a month ago as low performing areas in Cebu Province in terms of vaccination of the general population against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) have remained low performers.

On March 18, 2022, DOH 7 Director Jaime Bernadas had identified the low performing LGUs during his regional situationer report as Aloguinsan, Tabogon, Alegria, Tuburan, Dumanjug, Dalaguete, San Francisco, Tabuelan, Carcar City and Pinamungajan as of March 17.

As of April 24, seven of these have vaccinated only a third or less than a third of the eligible vaccinees of their general population.

Data from the DOH showed that the town of Aloguinsan was still at 27.60 percent vaccination of its eligible vaccinees; Tabogon, 29.98 percent; Alegria, 30.54 percent; Tuburan, 31.20 percent; Dumanjug, 34.85 percent; San Francisco, 33.23 percent; and Tabuelan, 35.44 percent.

Three towns not in the March 18 list replaced Dalaguete, Carcar City and Pinamungajan in the list of low performers.

Now among the 10 lowest performing areas were Balamban, which performed worst in vaccination for the general population, at just 19.25 percent; Santa Fe, 29.36 percent; and Sogod, 33.32 percent.

“On the matter of the top 10 low performing LGUs in Cebu province, vaccine hesitancy is very clear,” Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH 7 chief pathologist, told SunStar Cebu. “Efforts may have to be enhanced and strategies may need to be revisited.”

Six of the 10 low performers in the March 18 list also performed poorly in senior citizen vaccination.

Aloguinsan was the worst performer with only 15.41 percent of eligible vaccinees of its senior citizen population jabbed; followed by Pinamungajan with 17.98 percent; Dumanjug, 19.78 percent; San Francisco, 20.24 percent; Tabogon, 23.72 percent; Dalaguete, 21.33 percent; and Carcar City, 24.85 percent.

Other LGUs with low performance in senior citizen vaccination were Barili at 18.91 percent and Asturias at 20.44 percent.

From March 29 to 31, the DOH 7 held a special three-day house-to-house vaccination days in 12 LGUs in the province, targeting the senior citizens but not limited to them.

The identified LGUs were Balamban, Bantayan, Barili, Carcar City, Daanbantayan, Dalaguete, Danao City, Pinamungajan, San Fernando, San Francisco, Toledo and Tuburan.

To be deescalated to Alert Level 1 status, each LGU must vaccinate about 70 percent of its total eligible population while 70 percent of the 85 percent eligible population for its senior citizens.

In northern Cebu, Pilar and Tudela towns in the Camotes Islands already jabbed about 73.88 percent and 80.25 percent of their respective eligible senior citizens.

But DOH data showed that they failed to reach the required number of the general population to vaccinate, having turnouts of just 55 percent and 57 percent, respectively.

Pilar town has about 11,540 eligible vaccinees; Tudela has 11,527.

Cordova town also reached 79.28 percent for its senior citizens but it only had 57.20 percent for its general population.

The City of Naga reached 72.98 percent for its general population but managed just 61.07 percent for its senior citizens.

On Cebu Island, only the highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu are under the least restrictive Alert Level 1. This status has been extended to May 1 to 15. Cebu Province, with its 44 towns and six component cities, will remain at Alert Level 2 over the same period.

“The tri-cities still on Alert Level 1 is a welcome development again. With it though is a heavy responsibility for the local chief executives and their constituents to be more mindful and cautious in order to keep that status continuously,” Loreche said.

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