LAST week, we were literally at the top of the heap.
We had the highest vaccination per capita not only in Cordillera or Northern Luzon but in the whole Philippines.
As our headline boasted last week, almost a quarter of the population have had at least one jab of the precious anti-COVID vaccine.
In fact, city hall now says that more than 95,000 residents just had either their first or even second shots. More than 87 percent of the health workers have had at least one jab while more than the expected or a whopping 107 percent of those with comorbidities also had at least one jab. And about 67 percent or two-thirds of all seniors also had at least one tudok in their arms.
That meant the city had underestimated its chronically sick residents or there were those “healthy” who passed themselves off as sick. Either way, that is another story.
The good thing is, we are the most vaccinated in the whole Philippines. Let’s give ourselves a round of applause.
But is it enough? Do we have herd immunity?
The answer is in between “No” and “I don’t know.”
The Public Information Office said 53,000 were given Sinovac, about 5,000 had Sputnik and more than 18,000 had their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Depending on your level of hypochondria, these are far from perfect and reliable so we have to ride out the perceived effects of the vaccines we got.
And then, of course, we now have the Delta variant which makes things serious.
That particular variant is a source of serious concern as lab tests have shown it is more contagious and resistant to vaccines compared with other forms of COVID-19.
There are also various studies that said that at least one of the vaccines used in Baguio could be effective against the variant. The others said that the other two would at least prevent those who had it to be hospitalized or, God forbid, to die.
One thing about the scientists though. They all agree that the best defense against the Delta variant is to get a full two-dose vaccination.
Top French scientist Jean-François Delfraissy says creating a “block of vaccinated people” will help keep the Delta variant from spreading throughout the population.
A US study last June points to the importance of vaccination to keep the list of variants from growing.
Officially, we only have one case of the Delta variant in the Cordillera and she was not even able to make it to Cordillera after arriving from the Middle Eastern country where she worked.
“Increasing the proportion of the population immunized with current safe and effective authorized vaccines remains a key strategy to minimize the emergence of new variants and end the COVID-19 pandemic,” the June study says.
Can we do it? The problem is after that initial spurt of vaccination, the city has run out of vaccines.
Since Friday, the PIO announced that it has run out of vaccines and the new supply hopefully will just be arriving next week. But it is not certain if we can get a new batch next week.
Which means we might lose our edge after all. If we don’t get the herd immunity – and it may not even work in the first place – we might lose our immunity to the Delta variant and who knows what other variants we can pick up while waiting for the second dose.
Well, not only in Baguio but in other places but we should have had a vaccine procurement plan a year ago.
We did but we’re not sure now. Mayor Magalong said that the Astra-Zeneca vaccines we ordered might come this month. Or it may not, because we had been promised that last year that we would have been done with our program last May. Two weeks of vaccination and 70 percent would be given a dose.
Of course, it didn’t happen. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Bhutan made it. The United States, even with its anti-vaxxers, also did it. They were able to vaccinate at least 60 percent of the populace in so short a time.
At least we have fewer people who insist that they have the right not to get a vaccine.
But the point is, we should get a steady supply of vaccines. Why can’t we even ensure that?