Only 1,470 persons received 2nd booster dose in C. Visayas

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ABOUT 1,470 individuals have so far been given a second booster dose against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Central Visayas.

This is just 0.2 percent of the 656,624 eligible population, or those who already received their first booster dose from different sub-group categories in the region.

The said population, however, are not all eligible for now considering that only the immunocompromised, senior citizens, and healthcare workers are being prioritized for the second booster dose.

But there are those that belong to the other sub-group categories that are also considered as or transferred to these priority groups after getting inoculated with the first booster dose.

Cebu City has the biggest number of individuals vaccinated with the second booster dose, with 915 or 0.6 percent of its 162,507 eligible population having received the second booster dose.

It was followed by Bohol with 207 individuals or 0.2 percent of its 86,775 eligible population.

Cebu Province has so far vaccinated 153 or 0.1 percent of its 176,407 eligible population with the second booster dose while Negros Oriental has 108 or 0.1 percent of its 83,351 population who received the second booster dose.

The cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu have so far vaccinated 80 and three individuals for second booster dose, respectively, with Lapu-Lapu as the lowest among the three highly urbanized cities.

Siquijor was the lowest among the four provinces in the region with only four vaccinated individuals for the second booster dose.

Of the 3,914,083 fully vaccinated individuals in the region, only 16.8 percent or 656,624 individuals from different sub-group categories availed themselves of the first booster dose.

In terms of the first booster shot, Cebu Province led in number of individuals getting the shot with 176,407 individuals or 12.6 percent of its 1,397,787 fully vaccinated eligible population getting the shot.

However, in terms of percentage of eligible population receiving the first booster shot, Cebu City led with 162,507 or 24.9 percent of its 652,584 fully vaccinated individuals receiving the booster.

Bohol and Negros Oriental vaccinated 86,775 individuals or 14 percent of its fully vaccinated eligible population and 83,351 or 15 percent, respectively.

Bohol has about 620,785 fully vaccinated individuals while Negros Oriental has 556,209.

In Siquijor, 18,351 or 31.4 percent of its 59,535 fully vaccinated individuals had received the first booster dose.

In Mandaue City, 78,830 or 26.7 percent of its 294,853 fully vaccinated individuals had received the first booster dose, while in Lapu-Lapu City, 50,059 or 15.1 percent of its 332,330 fully vaccinated individuals had received the first booster.

DOH 7 Chief Pathologist Dr. Mary Jean Loreche admitted that they are behind the target for the first booster dose but stressed that this is because they started administering this only last October.

Loreche reminded the public to get booster shots, saying the protection provided by all vaccines diminishes over time.

“Since Covid-19 is new and the virus keeps on mutating with new variants of concern and even subvariants appearing every now and then, we need to improve the level of protection by reminding our cells particularly the B cells responsible for making antibodies directed against coronavirus through these booster shots,” she said.

Dr. Van Philip Baton, DOH 7 regional medical coordinator for emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, said they would like to see everyone increase their protection with booster doses as he urged the people not to wait for a surge of cases before they decide to get vaccinated amid the mutating variants of concern.

He said it takes time for the body to develop the immune response in order to be fully protected.

Baton urged local government units (LGUs), especially those that will have a change in administration, to be consistent in their vaccination strategies, saying it takes time for the people to take action.

“I think it would be more on consistency in our strategy. To ensure that people are ready to be vaccinated wherever it may be, be it at the marketplace, the school, the mall, or other areas of public assembly, we have vaccines available,” he said, adding that they have done everything that has to be done, including house-to-house vaccination.

He said more than 12 million doses of various vaccines are available in Central Visayas.

On Sunday, the Department of the Interior and Local Government directed LGUs to be proactive in urging the unvaccinated and those eligible for booster doses to get their shots especially following the detection of the highly contagious Omicron BA.4 subvariant.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said LGUs scour their areas for the unvaccinated and booster-eligible individuals.

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