By ZALDY COMANDA
BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin Magalong is pushing for vaccination of all eligible residents of the city to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that has caused loss of lives and livelihoods for more than a year now.
Magalong made the announcement during the regular management committee meeting via Zoom at the City Hall multi-purpose hall.
The contact tracing czar is currently isolated at his residence after testing positive for COVID-19 last April 2.
In a virtual meeting with World Health Organization representatives, Magalong was advised that the entire local populace must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity and not the city’s earlier target of 70 percent to 80 percent.
“This being the case, we are currently gathering more vaccine donors to cover the remaining number of vaccinees to achieve full inoculation of the city’s eligible residents,” Magalong said.
As of 6 p.m. of April 8, the city had 1,229 (14.53%) active cases; 149 (1.76%) deaths; and 7,082 (83.71%) recoveries from the total confirmed cases of 8,460.
City Health Services officer Dr. Rowena Galpo gave an update of the city’s vaccination rollout. She said 10,561 out of the 11,553 Priority A1 eligible population or 91.41 percent were inoculated with the first dose as of April 6, the highest so far in the Cordillera region.
Priority A1 is composed of health workers from government and private clinics and diagnostic centers, and barangay emergency response teams.
Galpo said they started vaccinating persons with comorbidities (A3) several days ago but had to stop due to lack of vaccines. It will continue when vaccines arrive, the health official added.
Galpo explained that they had to jump to priority A3 from A2 (senior citizens) because vaccines for individuals 60 years old and above have not yet arrived.
“The current COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of severe disease and death and are most suited for those with higher risk of exposure and death. The benefits of being vaccinated far outweighs the risks of adverse effects if any,” Galpo stressed.
The city utilizes several hospitals as vaccination sites including Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, SLU Hospital of the Sacred Heart, Baguio Medical Center, Pines City Doctors Hospital, Notre Dame De Chartres Hospital, and Philippine Military Academy Station Hospital.
The city’s field vaccination sites are the University of Baguio and SLU gymnasiums, Baguio City National High School, and St. Louis Center (Campo Filipino).