Press Release, January 31, 2021.

With the pursuit to ramp up the COVID-19 vaccination activities in Eastern Visayas, the Department of Health Eastern Visayas Center for Health Development together with the Regional Task Force against COVID-19, and the Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center, launched the Regional Vaccination Days- a massive vaccination campaign all over Region VIII starting January 31 until February 2.

The simultaneous implementation of the said vaccination drive in all six provinces aims to vaccinate at least 1 million individuals in three days; facilitate the vaccination activities and expedite vaccination of individuals with zero dose, those with due/missed second doses, and booster doses by devoting three days solely for vaccination activities regionwide.

As the Omicron variant looms in the region, this initiative is conducted while the region is currently under Alert Level 3, except for Northern Samar which was declared by the NIATF under Alert Level 4 until January 31. With the continued support of all partner agencies and private sectors, this is a window of opportunity for the Local Government Units (LGUs) to inoculate as many as possible, especially those coming from the vulnerable groups- the elderly, those with comorbidities, and those from indigent populations. The LGUs are ensured that there are enough supply of vaccines, vaccine logistics included, in the region to support this campaign. While the region has received a total of 6,345,060 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, necessary allocation and distribution has been processed by the DOH EVCHD and the RVOC to accommodate the vaccine supply of each province and/or LGU.

Based on the latest data from the Eastern Visayas COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard, a total of 2,214,148 residents of the region are now fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines. This accounts for 45.5% of 4,865,157- the region’s total population and targeted to be vaccinated against COVID-19. With this, Eastern Visayas is left with 2,274,080 residents to vaccinate in order to strengthen community protection in the region. Meanwhile, there are 2,377,948 administered first doses, or individuals vaccinated with atleast one against COVID-19.

Even when the region is gearing towards strengthened community protection and massive vaccination campaigns, the DOH EVCHD reminds the public- vaccinated or not- to continue to adhere and practice public health measures such as physical distancing, wearing face masks, hand and respiratory hygiene, and ensuring good ventilation by opening windows and doors where possible. Vaccines do not replace the important prevention measures that are currently being practiced, these are additional layers of protection against the severe form of COVID-19.

The public is still reminded to observe and embody the agency’s Mask-Hugas-Iwas-Airflow-Bakuna advocacy.