Zamboanga: City mulls vax sharing with neighbor provinces


As Zamboanga City nears the herd immunity for Covid-19, Mayor Beng Climaco was proposing to share the city’s AstraZeneca vaccines with its neighboring provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga Sibugay, subject to the approval or authority of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

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This, as the AstraZeneca vaccines, which were purchased by city government, arrived in the city recently, upon consultation with National Action Plan on Covid-19 Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez.

“We want to share these vaccines with Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, subject to the authorization of the Sangguniang Panlungsod. What we are trying to send a message (here) is that, since Zamboanga City’s target population is almost partially/fully vaccinated, we would want to help our brothers and sisters in BaSulTa provinces to get the needed jabs,” Climaco said Monday on “Dateline Teleradyo,” adding that she had already talked to some governors regarding the matter.

The mayor said her proposal was anchored on the so-called “Regional Bakuna Bubble” Program “since the residents of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are mostly likely coming over to Zamboanga, we might as well bring our vaccines to them so that they’ll also have the needed protection, and these are the AstraZeneca vaccines that the city government had purchased in coordination with Sec. Galvez.”

Sec. Galvez was in Zamboanga last week and visited the different pediatric vaccination cites. He commended the local government for its well-organized vaccination program, especially for the children aged 5 to 11.

She said the same thing was done by the cities of Makati and Iloilo—giving out their vaccines to the other LGUs, and most especially Zamboanga City, being strategically located in the center of BaSulTa and Sibugay, “we would want to send our tokens of love, care and compassion to our neighbors.”

In the same TV interview, Climaco called on the local chief executives in BaSulTa and Sibugay provinces “kung nan ditto man kayo sa lungsod ng Zamboanga, we will ask the Sangguniang Panlungsod for authority to share with you our vaccines, so that we could strengthen and wrap-up our vaccination campaign.” She instructed Councilor El King Omaga to initiate the move in the City Council.

As this developed, Zamboanga City has already achieved 68% of its target population fully vaccinated and 71% partially inoculated as of Feb. 16, having administered 1,245,746 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, of which 623,589 were first dose and 613,157 were second dose.

Early on, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the target herd immunity threshold was estimated to be about 60 to 70 percent of the population. But as more vaccines were developed and the emergence of new Covid-19 variants, the threshold estimates rose to about 80%. (Vic Larato)

(Source: City government of Zamboanga FB Page)


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