Senatorial aspirant and incumbent Sorsogon Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Tuesday said he is confident that the province of Sorsogon would be able to achieve herd immunity by the end of 2021.
Escudero said the province is expected to vaccinate almost 85 percent of the target population, which is over and above what the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) against COVID-19 prescribes.
According to Escudero, the local government was able to give first dose of the jab during the National Vaccination Days and they are scheduled to provide the second dose before the end of this year.
“Kung kaya’t mararating namin ang mahigit kumulang na 84.7 percent fully vaccinated rate para sa populasyon ng aming lalawigan na may edad 12 pataas (That’s why we can achieve more than 84.7 percent fully vaccinated rate for the population of our province for those 12 years of age and up),” said Escudero.
According to Escudero, the national government appeared to have softened on its earlier directive to LGUs to expedite the vaccination rollout or face sanctions due to incomplete shipment of vaccines, like missing syringes.
Nevertheless, he said Sorsogon is already on its way to hitting the herd immunity, with the arrival of more vaccines to the province since October from 20,000 doses to as much as 40,000 vaccines a day.
“We have sufficient vaccines now but sometimes we lack syringes. But they have expanded the time and alloted to us to vaccinate because we need to ensure they get the complete set of vaccination. Which means, they should also send syringes,” he stressed.
Escudero also assured that the province will not stop inoculating all qualified individuals even if herd immunity is achieved.
At present, he said, the IATF has allowed Sorsogon to provide booster shots to its healthcare workers, medical frontliners, senior citizens and those with comorbidities under the A3 category.
“As defined by the IATF and the WHO na 70 percent herd immunity, makakamit natin iyon. Pero hindi kami titigil dun. Magpapatuloy kami na magbigay ng bakuna hanggang doon sa pwede at gusto at ipagpapatuloy pa rin ang pagbibigay ng booster shots hanggang sa susunod na taon (We’ll be able to achieve herd immunity as defined by the IATF and WHO which is at 70 percent. But we will not stop there. We will continue to give the shots to those who are willing and continue with giving booster shots as well until next year),” Escudero stressed.
According to the governor, most of those who got inoculated in the province were given Sinovac or Sinopharm who must be given booster shots after six months from the second dose.