BACOLOD CITY–The provincial government of Negros Occidental is now prioritizing the rollout of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines with a target of 40,000 Negrenses per week or 8,000 individuals daily.
Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, provincial administrator, said on Wednesday the province is “taking advantage of the number of Pfizer vaccines that were delivered to the province: 107,000 doses on October 4 and 43,000 doses on October 9.”
The aggressive vaccine rollout started on October 5 with a utilization rate of 6,000 to 10,000 individuals daily, Diaz said.
He added the average utilization of the Pfizer vaccine is 93 percent to 100 percent as most people are required to be vaccinated for their work.
“Pfizer is in demand so the province will continue the rollout,” he said.
Diaz said the decision to prioritize the vaccination rollout was made after the meeting of Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson with the Provincial Health Office and Provincial Consultant on Economic Affairs Alfredo “Albee” Benitez on Tuesday.
Currently, Diaz said there are more than 300,000 Negrenses who are already vaccinated or about 14 to 15 percent of the targeted vaccination population.
The vaccination rollout will now cover the general population, Diaz said.
He said that several local government units had requested rapid antigen testing kits for the expanded contact tracing efforts but they encountered problems on supply, which is why they decided to focus on the vaccination rollout.
With the vaccines, he said, people are protected for up to six months while the use of antigen test kits is limited to an individual subject for testing.
“Our target with the antigen testing is to overtake the infection rate with the expanded contact tracing,” he explained, adding that the Capitol is now simultaneously doing the vaccination rollout, the expanded contact tracing with antigen kits, and the conduct of RT-PCR testing according to the schedule and urgent requirements of the local government units. (Eugene Y. Adiong/iNews-Bacolod/Negros Bureau)