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PHO, partners campaign for COVID-19 boosters

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Being vaccinated with COVID-19 primary shots may not be enough to protect against the virus, according to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ernell Tumimbang.

With this development, Tumimbang yesterday said that provincial government and its development partners, including USAID ReachHealth and UNICEF Relief International, are campaigning hard for booster shots in the cities of Sipalay, Kabankalan, Cauayan, Toboso and Calatrava, where low vaccination turnout has been noted.

While Negros Occidental logged 78.71 percent of its population as fully vaccinated, based on the December 12 report of the Department of Health – Western Visayas, Tumimbang said the province is lagging behind in terms of administering booster shots.

Asked why there is a low acceptance of booster shots, Tumimbang attributed it to side effects of the vaccines.

Based on a study of UNICEF Relief International, he said that 44 percent of the vaccinated individuals in the country, did not avail of booster shots, due to side effects felt after taking the primary shots.

Tumimbang disclosed that their development partners or social mobilizers, are assisting them in creating a demand for vaccination, focusing on groups that are hesitant to do so.

In the past 13 days of this month, the Provincial Incident Management Team recorded 11 COVID-19 related deaths, with 289 active cases as of yesterday.

Tumimbang yesterday clarified that those did not die due to COVID 19 per se, but from complications brought about by the virus.*

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