Doctor: PCOR-4 may be declared once 70% of Guam’s population is vaccinated

Dr. Hoa Nguyen (PNC file photo)

Physicians Advisory Group chairperson Dr. Hoa Nguyen says that there could be some news about COVID-related restrictions in the next week or two.

Dr. Nguyen told Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo Tuesday morning that by the end of the week, the island could be in a good enough position to make some new guidelines in easing pandemic-related restrictions.

However, he said that depends on the status of the island’s vaccination efforts.

Dr. Nguyen said that it’s still too early to transition into PCOR 4 but he’ll recommend the transition once Guam vaccinates at least 70% to 80% of the island’s population.

Right now about 20% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

The next goal is to vaccinate 50% of the island by the end of May and to aim for 80% by the end of the summer.

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“That’s what we would recommend. We’re doing so well, we don’t want to move so fast that anything can happen and we go back to the August timeframe. It’s not good,” Nguyen said.

Speaking of vaccines, Dr. Nguyen also addressed the fact that Guam received 1,000 more vaccine doses than expected.

Dr. Nguyen thinks that the extra vaccines are a result of Guam’s relationship with the federal government and Guam’s importance to the nation’s defense.

He also said that the 1,000 extra doses are for the civilian population because the military has its own allotment.

“This is an excellent opportunity for us. So we’ll have more vaccines coming. I think every month we’re going to have a little bit more. So our job right now is to just get the vaccines into people’s arms, and we’ll be very well-positioned in the next few months,” he said.

Dr. Nguyen also said that the Vaccine and Antiviral Prioritization Policy Committee is looking at expanding eligibility for vaccinations once the island catches up on vaccinating those due for their second doses, especially now that the island’s vaccine supply is being replenished.

“They’re also looking at other sections of our island. Like the hotel row with the tourists, and also the people who work in grocery stores and other areas where we have a lot of movement. Right now the main goal is to catch up with the 8,000 number two are overdue..and after that, things should be moving pretty fast,” Dr. Nguyen said.