Based on the latest COVID-19 vaccine rollout data of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) as of Dec. 13, 2021, Catanduanes has fully vaccinated 42 percent of its current target population of 228, 180.
This is equivalent to 95,590 individuals, which is also 35 percent of the total island population of 275,043.
Add to this the 36,747 people targeted to be vaccinated with the single-dose Janssen as well as the 15,525 who will get their second dose of Pfizer, plus many more who will get their second doses of the other vaccines, local health officials are optimistic that the COVID-19 vaccination campaign on the island will hit over 70% of the target population, the threshold of the so-called herd immunity.
This was confirmed by DOH provincial officer Dr. Robert John Aquino in a message to the Tribune last Sunday afternoon.
This accomplishment is testament to the personal sacrifice made by our health workers, especially members of the different vaccination teams who have labored without extra pay and often into the night just to inoculate Catandunganons against the coronavirus disease.
Last week, only three new cases were recorded by health authorities and one of them was a case of reinfection, a 45-year old man from Panganiban town which has the highest vaccination coverage among the 11 towns with 55%.
The other two were a 27-year old woman and an eight-year old girl, both from Caramoran, which has the lowest vaccine coverage on the island with just 24%.
The turnout at the municipality with the third largest population is so bad that the administration of Mayor Glenda Aguilar has been forced to dangle five kilos of rice per vaccinee as an incentive.
The good news is that the three new cases, compared to nine the other week, is the lowest ever recorded since the steady rise in cases began late last year.
The 19 active cases is also the lowest since the current surge started, compared to 34 a week ago.
According to the PHO, most of the active cases are from Virac (7) and Gigmoto (5), while Caramoran and Viga have two each, with Pandan, Panganiban and Bato have one each.
Only one death was recorded, that of an 86-year old woman from Virac who died on Dec. 13.
If the authorities continue to remind the people of the need to abide by the health protocols and the constituents do so for their families’ sake, there will be fewer new cases and still fewer deaths in the following months.
Aside from the 137mm of rain that poured on the island last Friday, the trash that is continuously dumped into the capital town’s canals and streets as well as the unfinished drainage project along the national highway are to blame for the flash flood that occurred in at least three areas.
The volume of rain was supposed to be manageable by the present drainage system, except of course for the one at the Kemji side of the highway near the airport which remains unfinished.
Garbage which blocked parts of the canals either in the barangays or along the main road prevented the first surge of flooding from being carried straight to the river.
One particular Christmas season a long time ago Santa was ready for his Christmas run… but there were problems.
Four of his elves got sick, and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones so Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule.
Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her Mother was coming to visit.
This stressed Santa even more.
When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out, heaven knows where.
Then when he began to load the sleigh one of the boards cracked and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys.
So, frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of coffee and a shot of whisky.
When he went to the cupboard, he discovered that the elves had hid the bottle and there was nothing to drink.
In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the coffee pot and it broke into hundreds of little pieces all over the kitchen floor.
He went to get the broom and found that mice had eaten the straw it was made from.
Just then the doorbell rang and Santa cussed on his way to the door.
He opened the door and there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.
The angel said, very cheerfully, “Merry Christmas Santa. Isn’t it just a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Isn’t it just a lovely tree? Where would you like me to stick it?”
Thus began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.