COTABATO CITY — Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim and the Ministry of Health (MOH) are urging the public to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in the upcoming region-wide Special Vaccination Days (SVD) next month.
Aiming to increase the low vaccination rate and meet the 70-percent herd immunity in the region, the SVD will run from May 11-20 in various vaccination hubs across BARMM.
In a press conference on Monday, April 25, Chief Minister Ebrahim said that from the offset the Bangsamoro Government has one firm plan, that is to protect everyone against deadly virus.
“We made a lot of efforts to keep BARMM safe from the threat of pandemic such as construction of Covid-19 quarantine facilities and conduct of extensive mass testing to prevent the spread of corona virus,” Ebrahim said.
However, Ebrahim said the region needs to further increase its vaccination rate so it will be included on the list of areas in the country that have achieved herd immunity.
“I am inviting our fellow Bangsamoro who have not yet been vaccinated to participate in the upcoming Special Vaccination Days in the region, because vaccine is Halal and it can help eliminate the threat of Covid-19 pandemic,” Chief Minister appealed.
Meanwhile, MOH Director General Dr. Amirel Usman reported that BARMM remained at “relatively low risk” and has one of the lowest transmission rates in the country.
“We are happy to announce that our region for the past weeks or months remained at low risk, consistent with the lowest number of cases to zero cases, and as of now, we have zero active cases,” Dr. Usman shared.
“Despite of the low risk and low cases in the region, the national government called our attention for the low vaccination rate. We have only 28% vaccination coverage out of 3.4-million target population for the 4.3-million total population in the BARMM,” Dr. Usman said.
According to MOH Officer-In-Charge Minister Dr. Zulqarneyn Abas, “our top enemy in the low vaccination roll out in our region is the high vaccination hesitancy of the public.”
Abas said 71 vaccination hubs across the region will be set up for the SVD, targeting 215,776 or more people. The SVD will be held on the following dates:
- Sulu on May 11-13 (at least 25,500 jabs);
- Lamitan City on May 11-13 (at least 70,321 jabs);
- Basilan on May 11-13 & May 16-18 (at least 35,400 jabs);
- Maguindanao on May 16-20 (at least 70,321 jabs);
- Marawi City on May 16-20 (at least 70,321 jabs);
- Lanao del Sur on May 16-20 (at least 50,250 jabs); and
- Tawi-Tawi on May 18-20 (at least 18,405 jabs).
“We are calling all the Bangsamoro people who are unvaccinated, especially children, adults and with comorbid health status, to get vaccinated this coming special vaccination days because this is for your own safety, your family’s protection and so that we may avoid another outbreak of cases in the region due to our low vaccination rate,” Dr. Abas further said.
The upcoming SVD is supported by BARMM’s media partners, development partners such as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and The International Organization for Migration (IOM), local government units, and traditional, religious, indigenous people, and civil society organizations. (Kasan M. Usop, Jr./BIO)
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