CENTRAL Visayas is still far from hitting its vaccination target of 50 percent of the people eligible for booster shots against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) within the first 100 days of the Marcos administration.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. assumed office on June 30, 2022.

As of August 11, 2022, only 20.02 percent or 695,971 individuals 18-59 years old had received the first booster dose, data from the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH 7) showed.

Central Visayas has 3,476,662 targets for the first booster shot. These are people considered fully vaccinated against Covid-19, which means that they had received the primary series.

Cebu Province had the lowest vaccination rate among the four provinces and three highly urbanized cities (HUCs) in the region, at 15.03 percent or 183,956 individuals vaccinated.

The province, however, has the highest target number of eligible individuals to receive the first booster shot, at 1,223,612.

Siquijor had the highest vaccination rate at 32.79 percent or 16,382 individuals vaccinated.

It, however, had an eligible population of only 49,956 aged 18-59 for the first booster dose.

Siquijor was followed by the cities of Cebu and Mandaue with 29.71 percent or 177,527 individuals and 29.43 percent or 80,446 individuals vaccinated, respectively.

Cebu City has a target of 597,460 individuals for people 18-59 years old, while Mandaue City has a target of 273,305.

Lapu-Lapu City also vaccinated 18.85 percent or 58,406 individuals of the 309,769 target for the first booster dose.

The provinces of Negros Oriental and Bohol vaccinated only 18 percent (86,186 individuals) and 17.12 percent (93,068 individuals) of their targets for the first booster dose, respectively.

Negros Oriental has a target of 478,810 people to receive the booster shot, while Bohol has 543,750.

As for senior citizens, Central Visayas has vaccinated 23.14 percent or 94,057 of the 406,420 targeted for the first booster dose.

DOH 7 Director Jaime Bernadas said they had committed to vaccinating 50 percent of individuals eligible for the first booster dose within the first 100 days of the Marcos administration.

“It’s still a long way to go to reach the targets for our senior citizens and the first booster shots. We encourage everyone to get their Covid-19 vaccines so that we can fully resume our normal activities if our vulnerable group has achieved 90 percent vaccination coverage and the rest of the adult population are protected against variants provided by booster shots,” Bernadas said in a statement

Of the 677,108 target senior citizens in the region, Bernadas said only 60.02 percent or 406,420 had so far been vaccinated with two doses or the single-dose Janssen vaccine.

Siquijor had reached 90.42 percent vaccination after vaccinating 10,047 senior citizens, followed by Cebu City with 80.76 percent or 66,203 vaccinees.

Mandaue City also vaccinated 74.18 percent or 23,905 of its target senior citizens, while Lapu-Lapu City had jabbed 73.03 percent or 26,483 of its target senior population.

Bohol has a 61.75 percent vaccination rate after jabbing 78,720 senior citizens, while Cebu had a 52.31 percent rate after vaccinating 136,592 individuals.

Negros Oriental had the lowest vaccination rate for the elderly population at only 50.80 percent or 64,470 individuals. (MKG)