Negros Occidental’s provincial government has vowed to boost immunization efforts against COVID-19 and other vaccine-preventable diseases, especially for the most vulnerable groups.
The commitment was made during the three-day project orientation and micro-planning session on the COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Support Tranche (CDS 3) at a resort in Talisay City.
The project orientation, which is led by Relief International, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef), and the Department of Health (DOH), aims to expedite and fortify vaccination efforts for high-risk populations in the province, the provincial government said in a statement.
According to Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, the province has made strides in vaccinating the target population against COVID-19 and other communicable diseases.
Data from the Provincial Health Office showed that as of July last year, Negros Occidental had fully vaccinated 1.38 million residents against COVID-19.
It accounts for 66.04 percent of the targeted 2.09 million vaccinees, equivalent to 80 percent of the province’s 2.62 million population, which is the target set by the DOH.
However, the governor said the provincial government still encounters challenges in reaching the most vulnerable groups and preventing outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, and efforts must be further strengthened to save more lives.
“The significance of immunization cannot be overstated, as it has played a very important role in diminishing the spread of deadly diseases and has saved countless lives throughout history,” he said.
Lacson added that preventing the spread of diseases through immunization has proven to be more effective and cost-efficient than treating diseases and illnesses that could have been prevented in the first place.
The CDS 3 is strategically designed to facilitate the seamless integration of COVID-19 vaccination and routine immunization programs, as well as strategize and plan specific actions and activities aimed at increasing immunization coverage, particularly in priority areas.
The project orientation and micro-planning session will end on January 19. (PNA)