‘PinasLakas’ eyes 97,000 elderly, 1.6M for booster in Western Visayas

ILOILO CITY—The Department of Health (DOH) 6 (Western Visayas) is eyeing more than 97,000 senior citizens in the region for the primary series vaccines and more than 1.6 million individuals due for their booster dose, for the simultaneous nationwide launch of the “PinasLakas” vaccination campaign on July 26.

“The Department of Health, in coordination with our local vaccine operations centers and implementing units, is revitalizing our Covid-19 vaccine campaign to achieve 90 percent primary coverage series among senior citizens and 50 percent first booster coverage among the general population within the first 100 days of the new administration,” Dr. Ma. Sophia S. Pulmones, officer in charge and assistant director of DOH-6 Center for Health Development, said in her message during the launch at the Robinsons Place Jaro.

Pulmones said 5,188,247 individuals or 80 percent of the 6.4 million target population have been fully vaccinated.

However, the booster coverage is only at 12.16 percent or only 788,183 of the target population while 564,663 or 76.81 percent of the A2 population or the elderly are fully vaccinated out of the 735,157 target individuals.

“The uptake of vaccination among our senior citizens is declining while boosters, which provide additional protection against severe Covid-19, are slowest since the start of our vaccination campaign,” she added.

In an interview, Pulmones said with the “PinasLakas” campaign, they would be employing the “settings-based approach” where the vaccination would be done not only at the health facility but also in schools, plazas, malls, offices, and other public places to make the primary shots and booster doses more accessible.

She noted that in addition to vaccines, the DOH augments vaccinators and vaccination teams.

In his message, Rodley Desmond, the OIC chief of the Policy Planning Standards and Research Division of the central office of the DOH, said the benefits of the Covid-19 vaccines could be felt as the economy, commerce, tourism, and education reopen in the country.

Submitting to booster shots is one strategy to ensure protection against Covid-19 and continuous recovery. PNA

Image credits: PNA/PGLENA