WITH the low turnout of inoculation in some areas in Negros Occidental, especially among senior citizens, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said they will reintensify the vaccination drive against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the province.

As of May 15 this year, 134, 859 of the 269,602 senior citizens in Negros Occidental, or about 50 percent, have been fully vaccinated, records from the Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas showed.

Of the number, 19,474 or only about 7.2 percent have availed of booster shots, the line agency also reported, adding that the low vaccination turnout among senior citizens in Negros Occidental is among the lowest in the region.

“It’s not yet over (the pandemic, hence) we need to have a vaccination,” Lacson said on the sidelights of the Lakbayanihan Tourism Fair 2022 at the Activity Center of Ayala Capitol Central Mall in Bacolod City Monday, May 16.

Despite the low turnout of vaccination among senior citizens, he said, there is no need to buy additional vaccines since the province’s supply is enough.

Negros Occidental received 3,485,770 doses of vaccines and 2,616,145 of which were utilized or about 75 percent, the regional line agency also said.

The province remains under Alert Level 2, while its capital Bacolod City stays under Alert Level 1 until May 30, 2022.

Meanwhile, the governor hopes that the vaccination rate in Negros Occidental will continue to rise to boost the tourism industry.

“We are prepared to receive tourists (and) right now, I understand from the airlines that their occupancies are very high,” he noted.

After the elections, many are speculating that there might be a resurgence of Covid-19 cases but Lacson said it’s too early yet.

“We will wait for two weeks after the elections, but the pandemic has gone down,” he stressed, adding that they are hoping that the pandemic is really now under control because it’s the only way for the tourism industry in the province to pickup.*

Richard Malihan Photo. Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson tastes some of the Negrense delicacies showcased during the opening of the Lakbayanihan Tourism Fair 2022 at the Ayala Malls Capitol Central in Bacolod City Monday, May 16.