SPECIAL VAX DAYS. The Ministry of Health in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao vaccinates some 15,328 people during the three-day Special Vaccination Days from May 11-13, 2022 in Sulu province. The figure represented 60.11 percent of the initial 25,500 target residents of the Sulu Integrated Provincial Health Office. (Photo courtesy of Sulu IPHO)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – At least 15,328 people were inoculated in the three-day Special Vaccination Days (SVD) in Sulu, the Ministry of Health in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOH-BARMM) said Monday.

The three-day SVD, held from May 11 to 13 in Sulu, is an initiative of the MOH this month to increase the BARMM's low immunization coverage and achieve mass population immunity against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) by June 30, 2022.

In a statement, MOH Director Ahmad Fawadz Israel said the SVD turnout is 60.11 percent of the initial 25,500 target residents of Sulu's Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), with 3,341 people vaccinated on the first day.

“Based on our monitoring assessment, the three-day SVD in Sulu was smoothly and successfully implemented as we observed how the community and untiring health front-liners responded, plus the collective support of the local executives and stakeholders to meet the target,” Israel said.

MOH Information Officer Saida Diocolano-Ali expressed optimism there was still sufficient time to meet mass population protection by June 30.

“As the SVD ended (in Sulu), we should continue our conduct of regular vaccination in our respective hubs so that we could still meet herd immunity across the region,” Ali said.

Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan underscored the importance of being vaccinated as primary protection from contracting Covid-19, as well as being one of the required permits to travel in some areas.

“Our vaccination card is proof that we are protected from the Covid-19 virus. We need that card because it serves as our pass in roaming around here in our hometown and also serves as our passport when we are going to travel around the Philippines and even going abroad,” Tan said.

Tan issued an executive order imposing the "no vaccine card, no entry” policy as a mechanism to combat the spread of Covid-19 in the province. (PNA)