The Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) hopes to hasten the province’s inoculation drive against COVID-19 through its mobile vaccination teams and eventually achieve herd immunity, which could take up to three years without the initiative and if vaccines continue to arrive at a slow pace.
“Kung imong tan-awon, among gi-estimate na kung di nato tabanagan mo abot ta’g two to three years pa unya makab-ot ang herd immunity,” said BIATF spokesperson Dr. Yul Lopez.
Health authorities including the Department of Health have explained that herd immunity will only be achieved once 70 percent of an area’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
As of May 1, 2020, Bohol’s population was at 1,394,329, and 70 percent of this is 976,030.
According to Lopez, the mobile vaccination teams are deployed in municipalities which have been pinpointed to be lagging in their inoculation.
“Gi estimate nato na ang rate sa vaccinations sa matag lungsod kung di nato tabangan sa mobile teams, mura’g dugay kaayo nato makab-ot ang atong gidamgo na figure to achieve herd immunity,” said Lopez.
Meanwhile, volunteers from the Bohol Medical Society and Philippine College of Physicians – Bohol have also been deployed as part of the vaccination teams to lead an information campaign on COVID-19 vaccination for those who are still undecided to whether or not receive the shot.
“Naay area na among tapukon na mga senior citizen, kadtong ga duha-duha pa kung magpabakuna, daghan pa’g mga pangutana so among ipa-lecture sa mga doctors na atong kauban so og mo sugot na sila ug makasabot sa atong tuyo, atong bakunahan,” said Lopez.
However, the health official admitted that even with the initiative, vaccination in the province would still be limited if vaccine arrivals do not speed up.
Bohol, like the rest of the country, is solely dependent on the vaccines allocated by the national government.
“Ang usa ka limitation, I think sa tibuok Pilipinas ni, ang kahinay sa pag-abot sa mga bakuna,” said Lopez.
According to Lopez, Bohol has the capacity to inoculate “15,000 to 20,000” persons per day if there is no vaccine supply limitation.
He said that at this clip, Bohol would be able to achieve herd immunity in a span of two months. But while the ideal pace appears to be unachievable, Lopez hopes to at least reach 70 percent by December.
Based on the latest data from the Provincial Health Office, Bohol has been able to fully vaccinate 111,603 persons as of August 9, 2021.
Some 92,988 others have received their first of two doses. (A. Doydora)