Bacolod City Aims for 70% Dog Vaccination Rate by October to Curb Rabies

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — The City Veterinary Office (CVO) of Bacolod has set a goal to vaccinate 70 percent of its estimated 100,000 dogs by October to establish herd immunity and prevent a rabies outbreak. This initiative follows concerns raised by the Provincial Rabies Laboratory, which reported a positive rabies case in the city’s dog population in 2023.

According to Philippines News Agency, the assistant city veterinarian, the CVO has launched a free mass dog vaccination campaign across the city’s barangays. For those who prefer to bring their pets directly to the CVO, a nominal fee of PHP50 is charged for the vaccination. “We have procured about 60,000 doses of the vaccine on a staggered basis, aiming to complete the vaccination drive by September or October, covering all 61 barangays,” Cabuguason stated in an interview with the Philippine News Agency.

The vaccination effort is supported by barangay health workers who assist CVO staff during their house-to-house visits. Each neighborhood, or purok, is allocated a specific day for the campaign to ensure thorough coverage. Cabuguason also mentioned that additional personnel are being trained to administer the vaccines to meet the city’s ambitious target.

In an effort to encourage participation, Cabuguason reassured pet owners about the safety of the rabies vaccine being used, which is recognized globally. He highlighted the importance of the vaccination drive, citing the city’s recent rabies statistics and the global reputation of the vaccine for its efficacy and safety.

As of late April, significant progress was made in several barangays: 5,145 dogs and cats were vaccinated in Barangay Taculing, and 3,025 animals received rabies shots in Barangay Singcang-Airport. Residents, including Beverly Zamora from Barangay Tangub and Andrew Salon, have expressed gratitude towards the CVO for their efforts, acknowledging the impact of the campaign in safeguarding the community from rabies transmission.