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The province of Palawan has achieved only 70 percent of its target for COVID-19 vaccination, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

With 460,696 fully vaccinated people out of a target population of 657,984, this is still the lowest vaccination rate in all of Mimaropa.

Dr. Matthew Medrano, DOH MIMAROPA officer IV, said that being an island province, Palawan faces different challenges in the implementation of the vaccination program, including hesitancy and typhoon Odette in 2021.

“Hindi naman po [natin masasabi na mabagal ang Palawan] kundi dahil may challenges. naapektuhan ito ng bagyo nakaraang taon pero ngayon po humahabol ang Palawan. Malaki ang itinaas nila dahil before ay halos nasa 40 percent lang,” he said.

Medrano also said that, besides vaccinations, only 17 percent of people in Mimaropa were willing to get booster shots.

“Mababa ang acceptance ng ating booster. We would need our new target for the end of this year to be 50 percent of our target population na at least may one booster,” Medrano said.

Despite these challenges, DOH Mimaropa vowed to continue to conduct vaccination campaign programs to reach those still unvaccinated.

Medrano added that vaccines are available all over the country and encouraged the public to get booster shots.

“Tinitingnan pa lang po kung ito ay magiging annual booster lalo na maraming lumalabas na bagong variant,” Medrano said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.