By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The single-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is in high demand in Negros Occidental with a 93.4 percent utilization rate recorded on Monday, July 26.
Provincial administrator, Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, said they have delivered 2,644 vials of J&J vaccines last Monday, of which 2,303 were utilized.
Diaz said the J&J vaccine is being concentrated for use among the province’s senior citizens pointing out it would be much easier as they would no longer be needed to return to the vaccination centers once they get the single dose.
“As we speak sige na aton mga inoculation sa mga vaccination centers sa kada [local government units] (As we speak inoculation is ongoing in the vaccination centers in every LGU),” Diaz said.
When asked as to how many of the province’s total population have already been inoculated against COVID-19, Diaz said the current numbers are still far away from their actual target of 1.4 million residents.
“Siguro mga 200,000 pa lang ta guro (I think we have fully inoculated at least 200,000 people),” Diaz said.
With the distribution of the remaining stock of Pfizer vaccine about to be completed, Diaz said they are now concentrating on the immediate distribution of the J&J vaccine since they would be able to inoculate no less than 70,000 individuals.
“With the distribution of our J&J vaccine, maka-improve gid ni sa aton statistics (With the distribution of our J&J vaccine, it will really improve our statistics),” Diaz pointed out.
Meanwhile, he expects by today they would be able to also restart the distribution of AstraZeneca vaccine for the remaining provincial health workers and those belonging under the A4 or frontline economic workers category.
By the middle of August, Diaz said they are expecting at least 4,000 doses of AstraZeneca, and he added that he hopes the distributor here in the country will no longer readjust the number of vaccines they received.
Previously, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson expressed disappointment with AstraZeneca for the meager number of vaccines they received earlier this month, pointing out they were made to believe that the UK-Swedish made vaccine will be the first jab to arrive in the country./DGB, WDJ