BARMM administers over 113,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 16 2021 12:08 PM

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MANILA - The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has administered over 113,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, its health ministry said Friday.

Of the figure, some 80,478 first doses were first jabs while 33,085 million were second shots, said Dr. Amirel Usman, director-general of BARMM-Ministry of Health. Those vaccinated include medical personnel, senior citizens, adults with co-morbidities and frontline workers in essential sectors.

Usman said the region aims to vaccinate at least 2 million of its priority population to reach herd immunity.

The Department of Health had said BARMM received the lowest allocation of anti-virus jabs due to logistical challenges in delivering them in the south.

Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi used to store their COVID-19 vaccines in facilities in Zamboanga, but as more jabs arrive in the country, the cold freezers lent to the Bangsamoro have become limited.

Usman assured the people in Bangsamoro that the inoculation drive would continue in the region as some 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines are set to arrive this month.

He said they were racing to vaccinate as many people as the region is near Malaysia, which is suffering from COVID-19 outbreak due to the more infectious Delta variant.

"Medyo alarming 'yung area namin kasi meron po tayong borders na malapit lang sa Sabah, Malaysia wherein meron tayong existing na Delta variant," Usman said.

(It's quite alarming because we have borders near Sabah, Malaysia wherein there's an existing Delta variant.)

The region is also beefing up security from its porous borders against illegal entrants, he added.

BARMM started its vaccination drive in March in the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur. The campaign commenced later in the island provinces of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan.