26 Quezon towns remain under Alert Level 2 due to low COVID-19 vax rate


LUCENA CITY – At least 26 towns out of 41 localities in Quezon province will continue to remain under Alert Level 2 due to the low COVID-19 vaccination rate, a health official said.

Dr. Tiong Eng Roland Tan, head of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), reported that as of June 12, at least 1,021,300 residents, or only 63 percent of the target population, have been fully vaccinated.

The elderly sector recorded 106,189 full vaccinations, or 67 percent, of the target number of senior citizens, Tan also reported.

The guidelines from the national Inter-Agency Task Force state that provinces, cities, and municipalities could downgrade their status to alert level 1 once they fully vaccinate 70 percent of their population and reach the required vaccination coverage for senior citizens.

The areas in Quezon now under Alert Level 1, the most lenient in a five-tiered alert status, are Atimonan, Candelaria, Dolores, Lucban, Mauban, Pagbilao, Plaridel, Polillo, Quezon, Sampaloc, San Antonio, Tiaong, Unisan, and Tayabas City until June 30.

Lucena City, the capital of the province, has been under Alert Level 1 since March 16.

The rest of the province’s 26 towns will remain on alert level 2 during the same period.

The low number of vaccinated residents was due to the prevailing hesitancy in getting the vaccine against the viral disease.

Most residents who received their first dose failed to return for their second dose, probably out of fear or because they had experienced bad side effects from their first dose, local health authorities reported.

The Department of Health (DOH) has been conducting an intensified COVID-19 vaccination drive in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) in Quezon.

The DOH said the province has 143 barangays located in remote locations and classified as GIDAs.

The latest data from the IPHO showed 12 active cases in Quezon as of June 16. On May 5, there was only one active COVID-19 case in Quezon.

The province has logged 18 new COVID-19 cases, 10 recoveries, and no deaths this month. In May, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the province dropped to 14 from 21 in April, 88 in March, and 772 in February.

At least 14 of the new cases this month were recorded in Sariaya town. The town had been free of COVID-19 from April 21 to June 5.

The rise of COVID-19 cases in Sariaya was traced to infected patients from Metro Manila who returned home, health authorities said.

RELATED STORY:
Active COVID-19 cases in Quezon down to 2

EDV

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