MMSU nears herd immunity against COVID-19

By Daniel P. Tapaoan, Jr. 


A significant number of faculty, staff, and students of the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) have been vaccinated against COVID-19, contributing to the target to achieve herd immunity against the disease. 


As of September 24, a total of 8,127 university constituents have already received vaccines from various vaccination sites: majority from the Department of Health (DOH) through the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH-MC) Vaccination Center at MMSU, while the rest were vaccinated in their respective local government units (LGUs). 


Of this number, 1,253 are employees; 4,753 are students; and 101 are personnel from other agencies based at MMSU campuses. These numbers represent 91.7% of employees; 97.9% of students in medicine and health sciences and 66.9% of students in other programs identified for limited face-to-face classes, respectively. 


MMMH-MC administered Sinovac Coronavac, Pfizer BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccines to the eligible MMSU constituents. 


Dr. Leonisa Silvestre, director of MMSU’s health and wellness services, said the university intends to vaccinate the remaining more than 10,000 students, following the government’s priority listing, taking in consideration that a number could have also received doses in their respective LGUs. 


A survey will be conducted to determine the students who have not yet been vaccinated in their respective LGUs, and who will be included in the next vaccination rollout. 


The Resbakuna campaign in MMSU started in June 2021 after MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis sought help from the DOH and MMMH-MC, through Dr. Maria Lourdes. K. Otayza, the medical center chief, to allocate vaccines for eligible university constituents. The program was also supported by the Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte and Probinsyano Ako Partylist Representative Rudys Caesar Fariñas I, who provided additional vaccines. 


MMSU serves as one of the vaccination centers in the province under the supervision of the MMMH-MC. The university also helps the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte in the province-wide vaccination roll-out by deploying its health frontliners to various sites in the province. 


Herd immunity against COVID-19 requires at least 70% of the entire population to be vaccinated. However, the target rate was raised to 80% to 90% because of the highly transmissible Delta variant. (StratCom)