More than 100,000 Iloilo City residents get booster shots

A senior citizen receives her COVID-19 vaccine at SM City-Iloilo in Mandurrriao, Iloilo City on Jan 25, 2022. The vaccination was facilitated by the Iloilo City Office of Barangay Affairs under EA Fernando Jose Rico. (Photo courtesy of Alfred Paciente Dela Cruz)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

More than 100,000 persons in Iloilo City have received their vaccine booster shots against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to the city government Thursday.

In a press release on its official Facebook page, the Iloilo City government said 122,190 residents already took their booster shots to increase protection against COVID-19.

The number comprises around 28.05 percent of persons who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the city (392,977 adults 18 years and above and 42,533 minors between 12 and 17 years old).

But Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas clarified to Daily Guardian via text message that the 122,190 persons also include non-city residents who are either working, studying, or temporarily residing in the city.

Treñas said he has asked for a breakdown of the booster vaccination numbers.

He encouraged the public to get vaccinated, reiterating his reason for the city’s aggressive COVID vaccination campaign, “so we can start preparing to get out of this pandemic.”

“We will do the drive-thru vaccinations next week and the vaccinations for minors soon. We need to ramp up vaccinations and boosters so that whatever effects Covid 19 will have on us will be mild and we can go on with our lives,” Treñas said in a text message.

Who are eligible to get their booster shots at the city government’s “mega sites” or at their district health centers? Persons who had their second dose of AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinovac, or Sputnik vaccines at least three months ago; or those who received the single-dose Janssen jab at least two months ago.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has explained that fully vaccinated individuals and even partially vaccinated individuals can still be infected with COVID-19.

But Dr. Katherine O’Brien, WHO director of the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, stressed that this does not mean that vaccines are ineffective.

“The vaccines that we have against COVID are incredibly effective vaccines. But that doesn’t mean that 100 percent of people, 100 percent of the time are going to be protected against disease. There is no vaccine that provides that level of protection for any disease,” she said during in a “Science in 5” series of WHO.

According to O’Brien, there will still be cases of disease among people who were fully vaccinated and certainly among some people who were partially vaccinated.

“This doesn’t mean that the vaccines aren’t working. It doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with the vaccines. What it does mean is that not everybody who receives vaccines has 100 percent protection,” she added.

The WHO has also stressed the severity of disease among people who have a breakthrough infection is less severe than the severity of disease among people who are not vaccinated.

Hence, people who are fully vaccinated even when infected are less likely to develop severe cases.


Data from the Department of Health-Western Visayas Center for Health Development as of 6 a.m. of Jan 27, 2022 indicated that 4.18 million persons in the region are now fully-vaccinated.

Outside Iloilo City, Negros Occidental has the highest number of fully vaccinated people (1.07 million), followed by Iloilo province (999,765), Bacolod City (523,381), Capiz (427,953), Aklan (341,557), Antique (260,313), and Guimaras (106,070).

But as to the rate of fully vaccinated persons vis-à-vis the national government’s target population, Negros Occidental is dead last (58.66 percent), while Iloilo City still has the highest rate (136.89 percent), followed by Bacolod City (127.44 percent), Guimaras (81.03 percent), Aklan (79.87 percent), Capiz (75.30 percent), Iloilo province (69.01 percent), and Antique (60.19 percent).