By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Thousands of people in Negros Occidental have already expressed their eagerness to get vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, but Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz said they are still finding it difficult to convince other residents of the province to get vaccinated.
Diaz said some local government units (LGUs) are reporting that some of their constituents are still hesitant in getting the vaccine, especially those who haven’t yet experienced getting inoculated for other diseases.
“There are residents here who haven’t experienced getting vaccinated, and some even don’t believe in the effectiveness of the vaccines,” he said.
The LGUs are already trying to think of ways to encourage their populace to get vaccinated such as giving away rice or other goods if they get the vaccine, he added.
Even though President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this week already warned that he might order the arrest of anyone refusing to get vaccinated, Diaz said they still cannot force the province’s residents.
Despite the current setback, the provincial administrator is confident that they are still on track on their vaccination program by concentrating their efforts on the people who are willing to get inoculated.
“Later on, maybe in the future, those who don’t believe in the effectiveness of the vaccine will eventually turn around and decide to get the jab,” he added.
He also noted that they have noticed that most of the LGUs that have a demand for vaccines are the province’s urban centers, which have far more knowledge of the vaccines.
“We still hope that we’ll be able to reach the target 70 percent of the province’s population will get vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity and we’ll be able to declare the province safe,” Diaz pointed out./DGB, WDJ