MABALACAT CITY— Christmas will be more meaningful for the residents of this Pampanga city as Mabalacat is already experiencing herd immunity since early December.

This was revealed by COVID-19 Response Integrated System (CRIS) Chief Implementer Dr. Jose Antonio Rivera citing the city surpassing the Department of Health’s (DOH) 70% herd immunity threshold.

“We have already achieved herd immunity. As an indication, we have been experiencing low to zero COVID-19 infections since the month of November. Labing-siyam (19) na araw po na wala tayong bagong kaso at halos recoveries po ang ating naitatala,” said Dr. Rivera.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “herd immunity” or “population immunity” is achieved if a substantial proportion of a population has been vaccinated for this lowers the overall amount of virus able to spread in the whole population.

In his recent announcement, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said that 23 highly-urbanized cities already achieved herd immunity having fully vaccinated 70% of their respective target population.

Mabalacat City, a component city, has already reached and surpassed DOH’s 70% target since November having attained the highest overall vaccine utilization rate of 95.7% in Central Luzon. The percentage translates to a total of 388,550 doses administered.

As of December 9, 2021, the city has already administered a cumulative total of 415,689 doses of COVID vaccines for both residents and non-residents. Of this number, the city administered 215,126 for the first dose, 196,850 for the second dose vaccination. The data also includes 11,503 non-resident vaccinees under the city’s walk-in vaccination program. The city also administered 3,713 booster shots for A1 to A2 priority sectors.

In consideration of Mabalacat City’s 70% herd immunity target population of 198,001, the city surpassed it at 108%.

In the wake of the new COVID-19 variant, Mayor Crisostomo Garbo said that the city will continue to focus on patient recovery, disease surveillance, and vaccination to prevent possible surges of infections and mortalities in the future. With the city’s exemplary vaccine administration, Mayor Garbo said that Mabalaqueños are ready for the impacts of the Omicron variant should it enter the Philippine shores.

“Tayo po ay nagagalak sa magandang balitang ito dahil sa wakas ay nagbunga po ang ating paghihirap na maitaguyod ang siyudad patungo sa inaasam nating herd immunity. Ito po ay hindi maisasakatuparan kung hindi narin dahil sa ating pamahalaang nasyunal maging sa ating mga medical frontliners sa siyudad,” said Mayor Garbo.

“Ang nararanasan po nating pagbaba ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa ating siyudad ay bunga ng ating malawakang kampanya sa pagbabakuna. Malaki rin ang gampanin ng ating mga Mabalaqueños sa pagsusulong ng zero infections sa pamamagitan ng pagsunod sa ating minimum public health and safety protocols,” the mayor furthered.

“Gaya ng aking palaging sinasabi, manatili po sana tayong mapag-matyag at ma-ingat lalo na sa banta ng bagong COVID variant. Ipagdasal po natin na hindi ito makarating sa ating bansa,” the city mayor added.

On December 9, 2021, the Mabalacat City CRIS logged the city’s 19th day of zero coronavirus infections since the month of November. Active cases in the city have also dipped to 3 accruing a 0.1% positivity percentage. Furthermore, the city hit 7,002 (96.8%) recoveries, to date.

Follow Mabalacat City News for more updates.