TO ACHIEVE herd immunity against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Central Visayas, close to five million individuals need to be vaccinated.

According to Department of Health (DOH) 7 spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, these 4,876,734 individuals comprise 70 percent of the total eligible population for vaccination in the region.

As of Thursday, May 27, 2021, a total of 67,823 residents in the region are fully vaccinated, while 111,912 others are waiting for their second dose.

The total eligible population for the age bracket 18 to 59 years old in the region is 5,631,175, while the total eligible population for the age bracket 60 years old and above is 934,911.

Loreche, however, was unable to give a breakdown on the number of target individuals to be vaccinated based on the priority listing or groupings.

Vaccination of health care workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities is ongoing.

Loreche said the government has allowed the master listing for those belonging in Priority Group A4, or those frontline personnel in essential sectors including uniformed personnel and those working in sectors identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force as essential during the enhanced community quarantine period.

“We are just waiting for the actual instructions from the national government on who will be added to the priority A4 list because, as of now, those indicated are only uniformed men and personnel,” she said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

Based on the National Priority List, after the Priority Group A4, the indigent population not included in preceding categories will follow (A5), then teachers and social workers (B1), other government workers (B2), other essential workers (B3), socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk other than senior citizens and indigenous people (B4) and overseas Filipino workers (B5).

Since the start of the vaccination program in the region in March until May 18, Central Visayas has received 257,760 doses of the Sinovac vaccine, 162,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 29,250 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

On Sunday, May 30, the Cebu City Government announced that it will open six vaccination sites that will cater to residents of mountain barangays.

These will be in Barangays Bonbon and Tisa and the Cebu City Sports Complex for residents in the south district and in the City Resource Management and Development Center (Cremdec), Guba Hospital and a multi-purpose school in Barangay Talamban for residents in the north district.

The Vaccine Advisory Board plans to vaccinate residents of mountain barangays on June 4 to June 6 and on June 18 to June 20.

Vice Mayor Michael Rama, in a press conference on Sunday, said these vaccination sites will only be opened for at least three days a week.

The city currently has four vaccination sites: University of Cebu (UC) Banilad campus, Robinsons Galleria, SM Seaside City and UC Senior High School campus.

More than 30,000 residents of mountain barangays have registered to be vaccinated against Covid-19: 15,475 individuals from the south district and 14,676 from the north district.

“In order to ensure accessibility of the vaccines to all Cebuano constituency, particularly the mountain barangays, the City Government will reach out and bring the Covid-19 vaccination services to the mountain barangays,” Rama said.

He said medical associations will assist in the vaccination.

The Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation headed by Dr. Peter Mancao will lead the team in the north district, while the All-Terrain Medical Relief Organization headed by Dr. Wyven Briones will lead the team in the south district.

As of Friday, May 28, a total of 40,267 individuals have been vaccinated in Cebu City

Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, City Health Department officer-in-charge, said the City only has 12,400 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine left and supply is expected to be depleted by next week.

Ibones had hoped that the City would receive another vaccine allocation soon.

Around 150,000 individuals have registered in the City’s vaccination program. (WBS, JJL)