LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Health workers are now hunting more than five thousand five hundred unvaccinated senior citizens for them to be inoculated that will help in lowering the current alert status of the province to allow the timely and speedy revival of the heavily impacted local economy.
Dr. Andrew Chamson Bacuso, Medical Specialist of the Provincial Health Office, disclosed that by vaccinating the aforesaid number of senior citizens which will allow the province to reach the prescribed threshold of 70 percent of the elderly that will be vaccinated to ensure that Benguet will get the nod of the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases to be lowered from the current alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1.
Under IATF Resolution No. 164, one of the conditions imposed by the government for an area to be declared under Alert Level 1 is that the vaccination rate of the general population should be at least 70 percent and that the vaccinated members of the vulnerable sector, particularly the senior citizens, should be at least 70 percent.
At present, the province’s vaccination rate is approximately 60 percent of the targeted adult population of more than 338, 000 while its vaccination rate among seniors is only 55 percent.
For the province to meet the criteria to ensure the lowering of its alert level probably by next month, health authorities claimed that it must be able to vaccinate more than 64,000 of the targeted adult population and more than 5,500 senior citizens.
However, Bacuso admitted that the province’s vaccination data is not perfect that is why the provincial government is closely working with other local governments to get the appropriate data on the number of residents from the different municipalities who had vaccinated in the said local governments to help in increasing the prevailing vaccinate rate purposely to achieve a lower alert level within the next several weeks.
Further, the provincial government also tapped the barangay officials for the conduct of an extensive inventory of their respective constituents to ascertain their vaccination status and to ensure that those who are not vaccinated will be vaccinated for Benguet to be able to realize a lower alert level status to pave the way for the easing of existing restrictions and allow more economic activities that will contribute in ongoing efforts to revive the local economy.
Benguet, Ifugao and Mountain Province had been placed under alert Level 2 from March 16-31, 2022 while Baguio City, Abra, Apayao and Kalinga will remain under alert Level 1 during the same period.
The provincial government will be conducting a regular and wellness summit to constantly provide updates on the pace of the ongoing vaccination of the targeted adult population and the qualified pediatric population to achieve the desired herd immunity that will spare many people from contracting severe infection of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Health authorizes urged residents to avail of the available vaccines for their added protection from contracting the said illness and for those who were able to complete their primary series to get their booster shots from the nearest vaccination centers to further improve their possible immunity from the said virus that had caused series of lockdowns in the different parts of the global village over the past 2 years.