THE Provincial Government of Negros Occidental is currently prioritizing the rollout of Pfizer vaccines against coronavirus disease (Covid-19), targeting 40,000 Negrenses to be inoculated per week or 8,000 individuals daily.
Provincial Administrator lawyer Rayfrando Diaz II said Wednesday, October 13, that the province is taking advantage of the number of Pfizer vaccines available.
Negros Occidental earlier received 107,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines on October 4 and another 43,000 doses on October 9.
The aggressive vaccine rollout started on October 5 with a utilization rate of 6,000 to 10,000 individuals daily, Diaz said.
“The average utilization rate of Pfizer vaccines is between 93 to 100 percent,” he said, adding that “most of its recipients were told to be vaccinated as part of their requirements for employment.”
The provincial administrator noted that the decision to prioritize the vaccination rollout was made after the meeting of Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson with the officials of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) and Provincial Consultant on Economic Affairs Alfredo Benitez on Tuesday, October 12.
At present, Diaz sai more than 300,000 Negrenses are already vaccinated against Covid-19. The figure represented about 14 to 15 percent of the targeted population.
The vaccination rollout already covers the general population, he said.
The official also said some localities are also requesting the rapid antigen testing (RAT) kits for expanded contact tracing.
However, they have encountered problems with the lack of resources, which was why they decided to focus on the vaccination rollout instead.
With the vaccines, he said people are protected up to six months while RAT is fitting just for the time that an individual is tested.
Diaz emphasized that their target with RAT is to overtake the infection rate through expanded contact tracing.
He said that the province now is simultaneously doing the vaccination rollout, expanded contact tracing through RAT, and the conduct of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing according to the schedule and urgent requirements of the local government units.