COTABATO CITY — In line with the Bangsamoro Government’s effort to reach population immunity, the Ministry of Health (MOH) started today, May 16, the week-long Special Vaccination Days (SVD) in Maguindanao.
During the kick-off ceremony held at the Bangsamoro Government Center here, each of the vaccinee received 10-kilo sack of rice, courtesy of the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD).
Technical Division Chief Dr. Gina Macapeges of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO)-Maguindanao disclosed that as of May 13, 2022, fully vaccinated individuals in the province are still pegged at 29% or 322,433 of the total population.
“As suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO), we need to reach 80% of the community to attain herd immunity. During the 5-day SVD, we aim to inoculate around 15% of the eligible population or 166,757 individuals,” said Dr Macapeges.
In a video message, BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim emphasized that the COVID-19 vaccine is halal and necessary for everyone, and called on the public to participate in the SVD to avoid a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the region.
“While the BARMM has been fortunate to have a relatively low number of COVID cases, we still need to act our gain to increase the number of vaccinated individuals if we truly wish to return to what was once known as normal,” Ebrahim said.
As of May 15, there are only 16 active cases in the region — with 12 cases from Maguindanao, two (2) from Cotabato City, one (1) from Lanao del Sur, and none from the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.
Department of Health Undersecretary Dr. Abdullah Dumama thanked the concerted effort of all medical front liners and other government entities in the region.
“Ako po ay andito ngayon upang ipaabot sa inyo ang buong pasasalamat sa inyo sa pangunguna ng ating kalihim, Dr. Francisco Duque III,” Dumama said.
Dumama mentioned that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to attain herd immunity. “Our accomplishment in the region is still at 28% which is equal to less than a million population, and we still have to vaccinate around 2.2 million to attain 80% of the 4.3 million population of BARMM,” he said.
The SVD in Maguindanao included the establishment of additional fixed posts in schools, private hospitals, public markets, military camps, and government offices as vaccination sites, and this will be complemented by mobile teams to reach far-flung areas.
SVD for Basilan and Sulu were successfully held last week from May 11-13, while for Tawi-Tawi and Lanao del Sur will be also held simultaneously this week. (Abdullah Matucan/BIO)