COMMONWEALTH Healthcare Corp. Chief Executive Officer Esther L. Muna said that the high number of unvaccinated individuals in the CNMI is still a cause for concern.
According to the health chief, over 10,000 individuals in the Commonwealth are not vaccinated.
As of Thursday, 82.9% of the eligible CNMI population, or 35,125 individuals, had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Of the eligible adult population, nearly 90% had been vaccinated.
Muna said that while the CNMI has set an 80% herd immunity goal, the focus now is on reducing the number of unvaccinated individuals who are at the most risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19.
“We want to see an increase in [vaccination] numbers, of course,” she added. “We always talk about herd immunity, but really the [goal now] is to try to minimize infection and death within the community. We’re urging everyone, and if you know someone [who] has not been vaccinated, please continue to urge them [to] get vaccinated. It is free, it is easy, and it’ll take [around] 10 minutes to enroll in the system,” she said.
In a previous interview, she said the greatest concern is the unvaccinated population, especially because children under 12 years of age are ineligible to take the Covid-19 vaccine and are at risk of contracting the virus.
Last week, the Commonwealth reported its third Covid-19 death, a vaccinated male and CNMI resident with underlying health conditions who passed away this month.
He was identified through travel screening and tested positive for Covid-19 in August, then admitted to the hospital.
After meeting all of the criteria for recovery, the patient was deemed recovered and was discharged in early September, only to later be readmitted due to complications related to Covid-19.
On Thursday, the CNMI reported one new positive Covid-19 case, bringing the total to 282 confirmed positive cases, three deaths, and five hospitalizations since March 28, 2020.
The individual, who was identified by travel screening and confirmed through testing on arrival on Wednesday, has since been quarantined and is being actively monitored.
The CHCC Communicable Disease Investigation/Inspection team has already initiated contact tracing for the most immediate contacts of the new confirmed cases.
There are currently no active hospitalizations.
View the new CHCC Covid-19 dashboard at https://chcc.datadriven.health/covid19