BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The provincial government of Negros Occidental targets 100,000 Negrenses to be vaccinated per week, following deployment of COVID-19 vaccinations teams to the different local government units, disclosed Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday.
Lacson said he will not make any excuses that Negros Occidental is lagging behind in vaccination activities compared to other areas in Western Visayas, which prompted him to organize five vaccination teams to help to help various LGUs, especially those lacking with manpower in fast tracking their inoculation activities.
As November 11, the Provincial Health Office reported that 20.76 percent of the target population are now fully vaccinated, while 26.52 percent of target have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Lacson, who yesterday met and briefed DOH Region director, Dr. Adriano Subaan at the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City, on the vaccination status of the province, also stressed the need for barangay captains to create a demand for vaccination in their respective communities.
“We don’t want barangay officials to depend on their local chief executives in the vaccination campaign,” he also pointed out.
With plenty of vaccines available, we have to create demand, Lacson said. The provincial government of Negros Occidental is also conducting vaccination activities at the Negros Residences in Bacolod, including pediatric inoculations, even without comorbidities.
Lacson said they are targeting to achieve a herd immunity against COVID-19 by February next year, with more than 1.3 million Negrenses yet to be vaccinated.
As incentives for barangays which may perform well in the vaccination activities, the governor said they have to start first with LGUs in order to come up a system on how to encourage barangay officials.
Lacson said that Negros Occidental barangays have been receiving financial assistance in terms of infrastructure projects, among others, in the past three years now.
As of November 12, COVID-19 active cases further went down to 1,223, from its peak of more than 4.400 last month, in Negros Occidental, which is now on Alert Level 2 risk classification status.
But Lacson said he is not in a hurry that it will be downgraded to Alert Level 1, as he shared the sentiments of health experts that it should not be rushed.*