Only 5.07 percent of Negros Occidental’s targeted population has been vaccinated against COVID-19 and it may take some time before economic frontliners, under the A4 priority group, can be covered, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said Wednesday, July 7.
A big portion of those under the A1 to A3 categories (health care workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities) have not been vaccinated so it would be hard to justify moving on to A4, he said.
Perhaps when they hit 70 percent of those belonging to the A1 to A3 categories, they can justify moving on to A4, he said.
The provincial government has so far vaccinated 92,632 Negrenses with their first doses or 5.07 percent of the target population, and 19,937 with second doses or 1.09 percent, Diaz said.
Their target is to vaccinate 1,825,730 or 70 percent of the province’s total population, he said.
“We are still dependent on the vaccines provided by the national government” for the vaccination pace, he said.
They were informed that only 3,500 of the 100,000 AstraZeneca doses purchased by the provincial government will arrive on July 15, Diaz added.
A lot of A4 economic frontliners already want to be vaccinated so they can continue their activities without fear of getting infected or seriously ill, he said.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said more and more Negrenses are willing to be vaccinated but they are having difficulties with senior citizens.
He said last week they had a 94 percent turnout at vaccination centers and on Tuesday it was 83.71 percent.
If the provincial government is allowed to open up its mass vaccination to A4 (economic frontliners) and A5 (indigent population) the province will hit its target faster, Lacson said.
“We are waiting for the green light from the national Inter-Agency Task Force,” the governor said.
Meanwhile, 500 Negreneses were vaccinated at the Negros Residences Wednesday and the Sinovac mass vaccination in the towns and cities of Negros Occidental will resume Thursday, July 8, Diaz said.
They also have 864 more first dose Pfizer vaccines to administer, he added.*