By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said he is not confident that they will be able to hit the target 500,000 individuals set by the Department of Health (DOH) during the three-day national vaccination drive from November 29 to December 1, 2021.
However, according to Lacson, they do see an improvement in the number of individuals getting vaccinated in the province.
He said compared to two weeks ago, Negros Occidental saw an increase to 66,000 individuals getting vaccinated against COVID-19 a week from the previous 29,000.
He said he has told local government units (LGUs) to not wait for the three-day vaccination, and continue improving their vaccination programs on a daily basis until the province can reach herd immunity.
Lacson added the supply of vaccines in the province is high and they would not be pushing on the LGUs if there is no supply.
He further stated the most ideal target for the 31 LGUs to vaccinate during the upcoming three-day vaccination is 1,000 individuals per LGU, or 93,000 individuals in three days.
Earlier, Lacson said they are committed to reaching the February 2022 target date for Negros Occidental to reach herd immunity, pointing out it is “more realistic.”
The governor also blamed vaccine hesitancy due to misinformation such as those being spread by individuals from religious denominations who claim that the vaccines are “no good” or “unacceptable,” as well as fake news.
However, another factor that may be blamed due to the low vaccine turnout is accessibility, pointing out some areas in Negros Occidental are still hard to reach, although they are now looking for ways to bring the vaccines to the said areas.
Several LGUs in the province such as the cities of Escalante, La Carlota, and the town of Toboso have already introduced incentives to individuals who are willing to get vaccinated./DGB, WDJ