Residents flocked to this vaccination site in Bacolod City at the start of the three-day National Immunization Days on Monday, November 29, 2021. (Bacolod PIO photo)

On the first day of the three-day National Immunization Days on Monday November 29, 2021, thousands of Bacolodnons and Negrenses were vaccinated against Coronavirus disease (Covid-19). In Bacolod City, 29,047 residents were vaccinated, while the number of those vaccinated in the province reached 70,663 at 4:30 p.m. Monday, November 29th.

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Bacolod’s Mayor Evelio Leonardia said they initially thought the target set by the Ministry of Health (DOH) to vaccinate at least 22,000 people in a single day of the Bayanihan Bakunahan National Immunization Days campaign seemed difficult, but they managed to beat it. “Yes, for emphasis, we were told to vaccinate 22,000 bacolodnons, but we have had 29,047 vaccinations against Covid and the emergency center task force is still counting,” he added. Bacolod Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, chairman of the local Inter-Agency Task Force, noticed long queues checking some vaccination centers in the city. For Familiaran, the existence of the new Covid-19 variant Omicron could have triggered the large participation in vaccinations at the vaccination centers. He expressed confidence that the city will reach the 22,000 target people who will be reached in the next two days of December 1 ongoing nationwide vaccination campaign should be vaccinated daily. Dr. Edwin Miraflor, officer in charge of the City Health Office (CHO), previously said the goal given to Bacolod City by the DOH was to vaccinate 66,000 residents throughout the three-day national vaccination drive. There are 40 vaccination sites in schools, barangays and shopping malls in Negros Occidental town that house those receiving the first and second dose, including minors aged 12-17 under priority groups A1, A2 and A3 or medical and medical staff, the elderly and those with comorbidities. For his part, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said he was amazed at the enthusiasm of various local government units (LGUs) in the province for their active participation in the Bayanihan Bakunahan Campaign, which is now on its second day. Originally, the province’s goal was to vaccinate 300,000 people for the three-day massive vaccination rive, but it was scaled back after their meeting with Interior Minister and Local Government Minister Eduardo Año, who stressed that such a goal is difficult to achieve in the cities Silay and Talisay demanded 6,000 to 8,000 vaccines from Monday, November 29th. The Isabela city government has also requested four vaccination teams for the vaccination activities. Lacson has urged the national government not to send Sputnik-V vaccines to the province because people prefer other vaccines. Meanwhile, the governor announced on Monday that Cadiz District Hospital will now become the only Covid-19 treatment facility in Negros Occidental as the number of cases has fallen significantly. Valeriano M. Gatuslao Hospital in Himamaylan City and Valladolid District Hospital can now also accept non-Covid-19 patients. Time, God forbid, and there may be a new surge and we have to increase our hospitals for Covid-19 [patients] reopening, “Lacson said. As of November 29, active cases are in Negros Occidental and Bacoldo City are 1,180 and 494 respectively.

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