93% of Covid deaths unvaxxed, city hits protection target: Duque

Richard Malihan photo

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III stressed the need for residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 because a study shows that 93 percent of those who died from it were unvaccinated.

Duque, Secretary Carlito Galvez – National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar, and Secretary Vivencio Dizon – NTF deputy chief implementer and testing czar, were in Bacolod City Thursday, February 3, for the launching of the “Resbakuna Sa Botika” at Mercury Drug Store at Ayala Capitol Central.

They were joined by Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Undersecretary Anthony Gerard Gonzales.

Duque said “Resbakuna Sa Botika” drives will be offered in more drug stores in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental where residents can be vaccinated against COVID-19 or get their booster shots free.

The target is to get 90 percent of the country’s population vaccinated before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends, he said.


When asked if herd immunity could be declared in Bacolod City since the city government has vaccinated 91 percent of its population, Duque said herd immunity does not apply anymore “because we have come to realize that even if you are vaccinated you can get infected”.

The proper term would be that Bacolod has more or less hit its population protection target because residents who have been vaccinated will not suffer from severe to critical COVID-19, he said.


Duque said a DOH study of 10,000 COVID-19 admissions in hospitals shows that 85 percent were unvaccinated.

The study also showed that 93 percent of all the deaths were also unvaccinated, he said.

That is why vaccination is a game changer for the people’s survival and for the economy, he said.

They are institutionalizing the alert level system for use even for other future pandemics in order to be ready to calibrate responses needed, Duque also said.


The country has to learn to live with the pandemic, by ensuring the vaccination of all because it is crucial to the recovery of the economy, he said.

“We can no longer afford lockdowns, we can no longer afford any more people unemployed because what comes with underemployment is hunger, and then it will lead to more sickness and death,” he said.

A continuous vicious cycle between poverty and disease is why the country can no longer afford more lockdowns as its damage to the economy is could be irreversible, Duque said.

He assured that all vaccines against COVID-19 being administered by the government are safe and effective.


Duque also thanked the health workers and vaccinators for their work and sacrifices to keep the people healthy and safe, and the private sector for their assistance.

Dizon said because of the mass vaccination drive hospitals are no longer filled with patients critically hit with COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines will save your life, your family and the community, he said.

Galvez also stressed the importance of getting booster shots as protection against COVID-19 variants.

They also said face-to face classes are likely to resume when an area is under Alert Level 2.*

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