Increase in vaccination target needed amid threat of Delta variant

July 22, 2021 – With the threat of the more virulent Delta variant of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Baguio City needs to increase its vaccination target to ensure the protection of its populace.

The City Health Services Office (CHSO) under Dr. Rowena Galpo said the Delta variant with its more severe and more transmissible nature has a higher contagion rate hence commanding a higher percentage of vaccination among the population.

Based on data showing the impact of the Delta variant relative to the percentage of vaccination needed in the population, the city has to increase its vaccination target to at least 83 percent of its eligible population.

According to Dr. Donnabel Panes, head of the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of the CHSO, the original strain (Wuhan) has an infectivity ratio of 1 active case to three persons and necessitates 67 percent vaccination target while Alpha (UK) has 1:4 needing vaccination of 75 percent of the eligible population.

In Delta (Indian), one active case can infect up to six persons thereby necessitating at least 83 percent vaccination of the target population.

“But if we can do more than the 83 percent then it will be a lot better.  Right now, our goal in the city is 100 percent of our eligible population or people aged 18 years old and above,” Panes said.

With the 100 percent target, the city will have to vaccinate a total of 280,912 individuals from its estimated population of 374,550.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said ramping up vaccination program has been the city’s thrust but achieving this depends on the availability of the vaccines.

“On our end, we continue to improve our system to make the process fast and seamless.  The process remains imperfect but we will continue to work on it,” he said.

The mayor had earlier set a target to have at least 60 percent of its target eligible population vaccinated before the year ends. – Aileen P. Refuerzo