By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The provincial government of Negros Occidental is now prioritizing the rollout of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine with a target of 40,000 Negrenses per week or 8,000 individuals daily.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said the province is taking advantage of the numbers of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses that were delivered to the province. A total of 107,000 doses arrived on October 4 and additional 43,000 doses on October 9.
“The aggressive vaccine rollout started on October 5 with a utilization rate of 6,000 to 10,000 individuals daily,” Diaz said.
He also said the average utilization of Pfizer vaccine is 93% to 100% as most are required to be vaccinated for their work.
Diaz pointed out Pfizer is in demand so the province will continue the rollout.
He said the decision to prioritize the vaccination rollout was made after the meeting of Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson with the Provincial Health Office and Provincial Consultant on Economic Affairs Alfredo Benitez on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Diaz said more than 300,000 Negrenses are already vaccinated or about 14 to 15 percent of the target population.
“The vaccination rollout already covers the general population,” he said.
The provincial administrator revealed that several localities are also requesting for the rapid antigen testing (RAT) kits for expanded contact tracing but they have encountered problems on the lack of resources that’s why they have decided to focus on the vaccination rollout.
With the vaccines, he said, people are protected for up to six months while RAT is fitted just for the time that an individual is tested.
Their target with RAT is to overtake the infection rate with the expanded contact tracing.
He said that the province now is simultaneously doing the vaccination rollout, expanded contact tracing through RAT and the conduct of RT-PCR testing which is according to the schedule and urgent requirements of the local government units./DGB, WDJ