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Guv moves Negros target for herd immunity to February

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Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has moved Negros Occidental’s COVID-19 vaccination target for hitting herd immunity from December to February 2022.

The provincial government needs to vaccinate 1.82 million Negrenses or 70 percent of its 2.6 million population to reach herd immunity.

Dr. Adriano Suba-an, Department of Health (DOH) Western Visayas regional director, met with Lacson on Friday, November 12, to raise the need for Negros Occidental to ramp up its vaccination drive.

Lacson said he did not give any excuses for the slow vaccination drive, but assured him that in the next two months there will be an increase in the vaccine rollout.

“We may not reach our target for herd immunity by December, the more realistic target is February”, he said.

“What is important is we should do much better than what we have done considering that the vaccines are available,” Lacson said.

Lacson said they leave it up to the local government units if they want to give incentives to their constituents to boost their vaccination drives.

The provincial government has created vaccination teams to help local government units in need of help in their inoculation drives, Lacson said.

“We’re now going to push barangay captains to create the demand for vaccines,” he added.

Lacson said they are thinking of providing incentives to barangay captains who perform well in their vaccination drives.

The governor said among the factors slowing down the vaccination drive are misinformation, religious beliefs of some and fake news.

Provincial consultant Alfredo “Albee” Benitez said he has been asking the mayors in Negros Occidental to double their efforts in convincing their constituents to get vaccinated.

There are still people who are more afraid of the vaccines than their benefits, Benitez said.

Provincial Health Office records as of Thursday, November 11, showed that 20.76 percent of the target population of Negros Occidental has been fully vaccinated, while 26.52 percent of target has had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.*

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