By Rey Anthony Chiu | 12:22 AM January 23, 2022
Receiving nearly 1.5 million doses of vaccines for the identified 961,872 Boholanos in the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) protection priority list, local vaccine program authorities could only get to 61% of its targets, a year and 10 months into the goal of attaining herd immunity against the fatal disease that has shown many variants already.
And the available vaccines are still not enough to saturate with two doses Bohol’s targeted individuals, there is still some 316,000 more needed to get to the 7o% of its priority population.
In its January 1, 2022 Covid-19 Vaccination Report, he Provincial Government through the Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force on the management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (BIATF) which has to hit the 70% of Bohol’s threatened population which it pegged at 961,872, bared that the inoculations have covered two doses to 589,212 Boholanos.
This is 61.25% of the 70% target, or a little over half of the nearly a million Boholanos for vaccination.
Meanwhile, the same report, also showed that 507,259 Boholanos have received their first doses.
The figure is 52.73% of the 70% picked for priority vaccination.
Now trying to pick the pace after the holidays and the calamitous typhoon whacked the islands residents in mid-December, Bohol vaccination teams have more reasons to get to its targets as fast as possible.
Believed to be the most effective way to stop the spread of the highly contagious viral disease that has already killed 584 Boholanos, vaccination drives have encountered problems in the delivery of the vaccines, the technical requirements of cold storage, the hesitance of the population to get the shots and the calamities that have effectively disrupted vaccine operations.
Already reported with two major surges and still a potential third surge in the offing, COVID has mutated into several variants, some variants even believed to be resistant to vaccines.
After the dreaded delta variant of the Covid which caused deaths in epidemic proportions in several countries and which stirred Bohol into panic with a daily mortality rate of nearly six in a day in September, the country and the province is on the watch for the Omicron variant.
According to the World Health Organization, the prospect omicron could bring is a full spectrum of disease, from asymptomatic infection, mild infection, people needing hospitalization, and people have died from Omicron.
Although admittedly less severe compared to Delta, omicron can bring in more cases, which means more hospitalizations.
WHO fears a prospect of a stamped health care system which could cause more deaths, because patients could not be appropriately taken care of.
But, do not be fooled, WHO authorities warn. Even if we have a virus that causes less severe disease, this virus can affect vulnerable populations.
WHO wants people with underlying conditions, the aged, protected even if it were mild infection, they are at an increased risk of developing severe disease.
It is really critical that even if we do see more mild disease, we still do everything that we can to reduce transmission in all populations.
This makes it even more imperative to get to those who have not been vaccinated, to get the protection fast, BIATF stressed. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)