Rabies vax rate in Iloilo hits 79 percent

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

The provincial government of Iloilo is making significant progress in combating rabies after achieving a vaccination coverage of 79 percent.

As of mid-May this year, the Provincial Veterinarian Office (PVO) reported that 256,310 out of 324,764 canines in the province had been vaccinated.

Of the 43 towns in the province, Tigbauan, Tubungan, Alimodian, and Cabatuan stand out with a 100 percent vaccination rate.

Several towns have surpassed the 90 percent vaccination threshold, including San Joaquin and Banate with 99 percent, Batad with 98 percent, Oton with 96 percent, and New Lucena, Ajuy, Concepcion, and Lambunao each with 94 percent.

Towns with vaccination rates significantly below the target include Lemery at 52 percent and Carles at 45 percent. Sara presents a critical case with only 17 percent of its population vaccinated, marking the lowest coverage in the province.

In November last year, the provincial government announced its goal to declare the province rabies-free by 2026, moving the target up from 2030.

In 2019, the province’s anti-rabies vaccination rate was at 22 percent but dipped to 11 percent in 2020. The rate rebounded to 49 percent in 2021 and continued to rise, reaching 76 percent in 2023.

PVO chief Darel Tabuada emphasized that mass rabies vaccination efforts have been intensified from February to May this year.

The PVO has purchased P8 million worth of anti-rabies vaccines to cover 70 percent of the dog population in the province.

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