CANDABA town is nearing its goal of achieving herd immunity before the year ends, as it is targeting to vaccinate some 17,000 individuals during the National Covid-19 Vaccination Days.

The three-day activity, which kicked-off on Monday, November 29, is the biggest move the government has taken to push all eligible individuals aged 12 years old and above to get vaccinated.

Mayor Rene Maglanque said the local government is deploying its full force by tapping volunteers from private and public sector and opening four vaccination centers to ensure that that they will reach the target number of vaccinees by Wednesday, December 1.

Also, prior to the first day of nationwide activity, Maglanque said the local government mounted a massive education and information drive on the importance of vaccines in the fight against Covid-19.

"Kinausap namin ang mga tao and pinaintindi namain ang pagbabakuna ay ang proteksyon nila laban sa Covid-19, at ang sagot para matapos na ang pandemya at natutuwa kami na naintindihan nila dahil nakikita natin na nandito sila ngayon sa ating vaccination site," he said.

Ahead of the National Vaccination Days, the local government of Candaba has already given first dose of vaccine to around 54 percent of the eligible population, while 41 percent were already full protected, according to the local government's Vaccination Czar Dr. Alvin Manarang.

"Once we finish vaccinating our target number of vaccinees during this three-day activity, we are only a step short from achieving the herd immunity for the municipality of Candaba," Manarang said.

Meanwhile, Maglanque said they are putting more focus on jabbing children aged 12 to 17 years old in preparation for the foreseen opening of face-to-face classes by next year.

He said most of the eligible individuals aged 18 years old and above were already immunized either in the municipality or in their workplace, except for those who are still reluctant to receive the vaccines.

To prevent the same reaction from children, Maglanque said among the preparations held for the National Vaccination Days is tapping teachers and school heads to reach out and educate their students about the vaccine.

"Kasama sa mga volunteers natin ngayon ay mga teachers dahil maliban sa gusto nilang tumulong, gusto rin nilang mahikayat at palakasin ang loob ng kanilang mga estudyante," he said.

The mayor also urged Candabeños and even those residing outside the municipality to visit one of their vaccination sites -- one at the Don Honorio Ventura State University, at the Candaba Trade Center and in Barangays Salapungan and Bahay Pare -- and get vaccinated during and even after the National Immunization Day.

"Inoopen po natin ang ating mga vaccination sites kahit sa mga hindi taga-Candaba kaya pumunta na kayo sa ating mga sites, magsama kayo ng kaibigan basta wag lang kalimutan ang safety protocol. Ang goal natin ay gawing trend ang pagpapabakuna dahil ito ang kailangan," he said.

Vice Mayor Michael Sagum, for his part, said the local government is in the process of identifying Candabeños who were vaccinated outside of the municipality to remove them from the town's masterlist.

"Nakikipagcoordinate tayo ngayon sa kanila para malaman kung sino ang bakunado na at hindi pa, at para malaman kung saan pa dapat mag-focus ang ating vaccination team. Kapag naidentify natin sila, mas makikita natin kung nasaan na talaga tayo sa status ng pagbabakuna, at baka mas malapit na pala tayo sa herd immunity," he said.