Cagayan de Oro sets ‘no vaccination, no caroling’ rule due to new COVID subvariant

Image: David Beale
Image: David Beale

Christmas is in the air, and so is caroling — except if you’re unvaccinated and live in Cagayan de Oro.

In what would be the first time in two years the province would allow caroling in groups, Cagayan de Oro officials have declared a “no vaccination, no caroling rule” in the wake of new cases of Omicron subvariant BQ.1 detected in various regions across the country, such as Cordillera, Ilocos Region, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, and Metro Manila.

Health officials warned that BQ.1 is more transmissible and highly immune-evasive, although it appears to cause milder infections than the Delta variant.

With over 80 percent of locals vaccinated, the province has managed to keep COVID cases low. That said, only 175,234 people had their first booster doses out of 384,822 total eligible individuals, health records showed.

Meanwhile, city epidemiologist Dr. Teodulfo Joselito Retuya Jr urged parents of five to 11-year-olds to complete their children’s primary vaccination series for COVID before allowing them to take part in merrymaking activities. 

“It’s not like we are preventing people from joining the caroling. But we want to make sure they are inoculated, especially the children. Kids as young as five years are the ones who love to go out to the streets, from one house to another, for Christmas caroling. We need to ensure they have received the primary series of vaccinations,” he told reporters.

The province recorded 33,067 fully vaccinated children under 12.



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