San Juan City First in Herd Immunity: 74% of Population with Complete Doses

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San Juan City is the first in the country to reach herd immunity by vaccinating with complete doses 74.4% of its total population.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced this shot-in-the-arm development during his regular press briefing attended by City Mayor Francis Zamora held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on August 9, 2021.

San Juan City sets bar for other Metro Manila local governments

“Congratulations, Mayor Francis Zamora! Ito po ay (This is) record-breaking,” Roque said.

Zamora thanked President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for recognizing San Juan City’s efforts during his State of the National Address (SONA). The mayor cites this as one of the inspirations for the city’s 70% population protection achievement three ahead of its target. He also acknowledged the hard work and sacrifices of the city’s vaccination team, who worked tirelessly even during weekends and holidays to make sure most of its population are protected against Covid-19.

“This milestone would not have been possible had it not been for the concerted efforts of lots of people, from those working in the national government headed by President Duterte, our department secretaries and their staff who made sure we had ample supply of vaccines, and, of course, the brave women and men of our vaccination team, medical and non-medical front-liners and the volunteers who sacrificed so much of their time and braved the pandemic to server our residents,” Zamora said.

San Juan City has administered 147,421 first doses, exceeding its total population based on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 2020 Census of 126,347 by 16.68% and 11.25% based on the Asian Development Bank (ADB) 2021 Population Projection of 132,512. The Zamora-led LGU (local government unit) has completely vaccinated 78.03% of its population based on the PSA 2020 Census and 74.4% based on the ADB 2021 population projection.

MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) Chairman Benhur Abalos lauded San Juan City for achieving this feat and setting the bar for other LGUs. He explained why the San Juan City has even exceeded the city’s population on first dose.

San Juan City achieves herd immunity.
Credit: San Juan City Facebook page/Mayor Francis Zamora. This during media briefing conducted by Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque (background). Mayor Zamora in read.

“Baka magulat kayo bakit 111% ang San Juan. Sa sobrang sipag ni Mayor Francis, ‘yung mga nagtatrabaho sa San Juan, hindi lang mga residente, may 111% na sila ng first dose,” Abalos said. (You might be surprised why San Juan is 111%. Because of the hard work of Mayor Francis, those working in San Juan, not just the residents, they have already 111%.)

From biking to house visits, Zamora has taken every opportunity to campaign for his constituents to get vaccinated. Extra efforts were also extended to vaccinate even those not capable of going to the vaccination sites with the city offering scheduled house-to-house vaccination per barangay for bed-ridden individuals.

Vaccines provide light at end of tunnel

“We have implemented different strategies just to make sure we register as many people as we can, vaccinated them as fast as physically possible, and vaccinated some more. Our house-to-house campaign and registration as well as our Bisikleta Para Sa Bakuna programs worked and we constantly visit the unvaccinated to check whether they have already changed their minds. We are not giving up on them,” Zamora explained, adding, “Our goal is not just to reach herd immunity, we want to vaccinate 100% of our population, if possible.”

With the city facing an increase in active cases in recent days and reporting transmission of the feared Delta variant, Zamora sees the vaccine as the best way to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

“Although we have recently seen an increase of active cases of Covid-19 in the city, we have noticed that those who had vaccine breakthrough mostly were asymptomatic or mild cases. This proves that the vaccines work and our unvaccinated constituents have also seen that, we made sure, that is why we continue to get to vaccinate more people,” said the mayor.

As of August 9, 2021, San Juan City had 315 active cases, down by four the previous day. Total confirmed cases now stand at 9,937 while the 21 new recoveries bring the total number of recovered to 9,388 with 234 deaths.

“The vaccine has given us a lot of hope. We are already seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Covid-19 may still be around in the next few years but the vaccines will help us mitigate it and live with it,” said Mayor Zamora. (✓)

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