Negros Occidental eyes purchase of P10-M worth of rabies vaccines

By Nanette Guadalquiver

January 15, 2024, 7:39 pm

BACOLOD CITY – The Negros Occidental provincial government is planning to procure PHP10 million worth of anti-rabies shots this year to vaccinate 70 percent of the dog population in the province.

Dr. Placeda Lemana, head of the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), said on Monday the amount would be enough to purchase more than 200,000 doses.

In 2023, the province recorded a vaccination rate of only 45.67 percent or over 123,826 dogs out of over 200,000 population caused by the limited vaccine supply.

“Our vaccination record is low since we have not obtained vaccines from the national government. The vaccines were only those from the province and the local government units (LGUs),” she told reporters.

Still, the 17 positive rabies cases in dogs recorded in Negros Occidental, of which one is from Bacolod City, last year are lower than the 19 cases recorded in 2022, based on the data of the Provincial Rabies Laboratory. 

Lemana said the PVO conducts massive vaccinations in areas within a five-kilometer radius of the location of the reported positive case.

“We conduct quick response. That’s why the positive cases have not spread,” Lemana added.

Records of the Provincial Health Office showed suspected rabies in humans resulted in the death of two persons in La Castellana and one each in Isabela, Calatrava and Toboso.

“We encourage the LGUs to purchase their own vaccines. Our target this year is to reactivate the Provincial Rabies Coordinating Council. In case we are given the budget to purchase, we can maximize the vaccination program. We need to reach 70 percent of the dog population for herd immunity,” Lemana said. (PNA)