18,435 need to be vaccinated per month to reach herd immunity by July

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. (Moderna photo )

For Guam to achieve COVID-19 herd immunity through vaccination by July, the Department of Public Health and Social Services and its partners would have to vaccinate around 18,435 individuals per month, for the next 5 months. 

DPHSS officials provided an overview of the vaccination plan for Guam during a virtual public hearing Monday night. 

“Based on estimates, if we are saying herd immunity, for 70 percent based on the population of Guam, we would need to ensure 117,825 individuals received both doses of the vaccine,” Annette Aguon, DPHSS Bureau of Communicable Disease Control Administrator said. 

She added: “Based on the tracking by July — to reach that goal of 70 percent, we need to ensure that we can immunize 18,435 people per month.”  

At 80 percent vaccination goal, Aguon said Public Health would have to work a little bit harder and increase its target to 21,802 individuals immunized by July.  

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According to Aguon, 769 individuals are being vaccinated on a daily basis in Guam.

“There has been a lot of changes during the past months. We are hearing 70 percent, 80 percent. This is just to get enough people protected either because they have been vaccinated or they have had the disease and recovered,” Aguon said.  

One of the goals of the government’s national COVID-19 vaccination program is to reach herd immunity.

Moving forward, Aguon said Public Health will administer community-based, village-level vaccinations focused on special target populations such as the homeless and underserved groups, and those with special health care needs. 

Aguon also mentioned that public health is working with 8 pediatric clinics that are on standby to vaccinate individuals below 16 years of age as soon as CDC lowers its age threshold to include children. 

Homebound schedule

Meanwhile, Dr. Suzanne Kaneshiro, Chief Public Health Officer, also provided updates on the homebound vaccination schedule. 

“Last week, we actually went to the Merizo Senior Center, where we saw 79 walk-ins. We are going to the villages to make it convenient for the seniors to come,” Kaneshiro said. 

On Monday, Public Health administered vaccines in Agat and Sinajana. Today, they are going to the GHURA 82 housing site and other locations in Dededo.

Next on their list are the homeless shelters —- Global Dorm and Guma San Jose. 

Kaneshiro said they will continue vaccinations at the senior centers next week, with a confirmed visit in Mangilao on Tuesday and Agat on Friday.