Central Visayas has 1.8 million unused COVID-19 vaccines due to low turnout

While active cases of COVID-19 in Central Visayas have been decreasing over the past weeks, the spokesperson of the Visayas Vaccination Operations Center (VVOC) announced in a press briefing on Wednesday, October 13, that the region has an oversupply of COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Umuulan tayo ng bakuna. (It’s raining vaccines) We have an adequate and even an overabundance of vaccines but these are not moving,” said VVOC spokesperson Dr Mary Jean Loreche in a press briefing on Wednesday, October 13.

Ang panawagan natin sa ating nga vaccination centers, sa ating mga LGUs (We call onto our vaccination centers, our LGUs): this has to be an LGU-driven activity,” she added.

Rappler reached out to Loreche to ask why there was a vaccine surplus, but she has not replied as of this writing. Rappler will update this story as soon as we get her reply.

VVOC reported that Central Visayas has a total of 1,818,454 unused vaccine doses. 

Based on VVOC’s vaccination report as of October 10, the region has vaccinated 1,540,062 individuals with at least one dose, and 1,433,643 with both doses.

Though the region still has 4,204,697 individuals on its list that they still need to inoculate.

In the same report, Cebu province has the biggest vaccine surplus in the region with 704,885 unused vaccine doses, followed by Bohol at 354,117 and Negros Oriental at 315,328.

Vaccination targets

Seven months after starting its inoculation program, Cebu province has managed to fully vaccinate 372,907 – or about 16.3% – of eligible residents. This is way-off its target to vaccinate 2,293,508. 

Metro Cebu's Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City have vaccinated 51.1%, 56.3%, and 66.4% of their target coverage respectively.

To help boost its vaccination numbers, Cebu City implemented restrictions for unvaccinated individuals.

As of October 1, only vaccinated individuals are allowed access to indoor dine-in services, personal care services, indoor sports and tourist attractions at 50% capacity in Cebu City.

The city is also now allowing walk-ins in most vaccination sites, as long as residents register through pabakunata.com.

Those living in other cities can contact their local government units to register for vaccination.

The number of full-vaccinated individuals are even lower in other Central Visayas provinces.

Bohol has fully vaccinated 208,394 (21.7%) of its total target vaccinated population, while Siquijor has inoculated 40,532 (57.2%). Negros Oriental, however, is the lowest with only 155,300 (16.3%) of its residents fully vaccinated.

Loreche urged LGUs and their leaders to work on administering vaccine doses to more people as much as possible.

In Cebu City, deputy chief implementer of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), City Councilor Joel Garganera, said in a live-streamed press conference that they were looking into the possibility of converting churches into vaccination areas to increase turnouts in their vaccination drive. –Rappler.com