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‘We need help’: Salceda renews call to boost Bicol vaccine supply

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Albay Second District Rep. Joey Salceda renewed his call for more vaccine supply for Bicol, as the region has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

Salceda noted that the region has vaccinated a mere 10% of the population recently, which is “among the lowest in the country”.

“We need help,” said Salceda in a statement, warning that “lack of vaccines could threaten the strength of our response”.

“Our COVID-19 response in the 2nd district of Albay has been hailed by the Department of Health (DOH) and other groups as a model to follow. But it could go wrong with the lack of vaccines,” Salceda explained.

“It’s not that there’s a lack of vaccines. There are about 30 million doses of vaccines that are ready for administration in the country. While other regions like NCR are already contemplating vaccinating minors, we are yet to even reach decent levels of vaccination for our priority populations,” Salceda said.

Salceda cited Manila City as an example as the capital city has now vaccinated more than its own population.

“Imagine the vaccine inequity. Of course there will be vaccine hesitancy in these places, simply because there’s no one left to vaccinate.”

“In places that are starting to get saturated, of course vaccine demand will plateau. I assure you, get more vaccines in Bicol, and you will see faster vaccination,” Salceda added.

The Albay lawmaker had already voiced his appeal in July urging for an equitable vaccine distribution in Bicol, among others, pointing out that healthcare facilities and capability are seriously “segmented in the regions,” thus the need to vaccinate the vulnerable to avoid hospitalization.