About 2,500 more must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity by July 21
Updated: Jul 18, 2021
With five more days to go before the target date, about 2,500 adults must be fully vaccinated before Guam reaches herd immunity by July 21.
To date, a total of 93,404 or 77.81 percent of adults have received either both doses in the two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) or the single-dose series (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen) of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the Joint Information Center.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero earlier said the target number was at least 96,000.
“As Guam continues its goal of attaining 80 percent herd immunity of its adult population to Covid-19, data indicates that certain ethnic groups must stand and be counted in the fight against Covid -19," Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) Director Art San Agustin said.
"Data also shows that unvaccinated individuals are at the greatest risk of spreading COVID-19, severe illness, and death,” he added.
Health authorities said population immunity is the protection a community gains against infectious disease when a high proportion of the population is immune to the disease, either through vaccination or immunity developed through the previous infection. One of the aims of working toward population immunity is to keep vulnerable groups who cannot get vaccinated (e.g., due to health conditions like allergic reactions to the vaccine) safe and protected from the disease.
In 2021, 92 percent of Covid-19 cases and all COVID-19-related deaths were among unvaccinated people on Guam. The island’s current vaccination rate has reduced the number of cases and hospitalizations due to Covid-19, but more needs to be done.
By ethnicity, the vaccination data show gaps in vaccination rates. According to DPHSS vaccination data, less than one-half (43 percent) of Chamorros are fully vaccinated, and less than one-third (30 percent) of Chuukese are fully vaccinated.
For other Pacific Islander groups, the data shows Yapese at 64 percent, Palauans at 48 percent, Pohnpeians at 39 percent, Kosraean at 41 percent, and Marshallese at 34 percent. Asian groups on Guam have higher vaccination rates: Koreans at 73 percent, Chinese at 72 percent, Filipinos at 71 percent and Japanese at 56 percent.
DPHSS said relies on ethnicity data to identify health disparities for focused interventions and community outreach. Current ethnicity data shows that Chamorros (42 percent), Filipinos (29 percent), and other Pacific Islanders (13 percent) comprise the majority (84 percent) of Guam’s total population.
Covid-19 vaccination data as of July 14 show that Guam is doing well in vaccinating those over 50 years of age. Guam has successfully fully vaccinated over 80 percent of people ages 50-74 years, 72 percent of those ages 40-49, and 69 percent of those over age 75.
Vaccination turnout has been low among the younger age groups: 30-39 years (57 percent fully vaccinated), 18-29 years (52 percent fully vaccinated), and eligible pre-teens and teens ages 12-17 (39 percent fully vaccinated).
Four new cases of Covid-19 were identified out of 290 tests performed on July 15. Two cases were identified through contact tracing. To date, there have been a total of 8,477 officially reported cases of Covid-19 with 142 deaths, 111 cases in active isolation, and 8,224 not in active isolation. The CAR Score is 0.7.