The local government of Tacloban through the City Veterinary Office (CVO) conducted a house-to-house free anti-rabies vaccination for pet animals, especially dogs, on Wednesday morning, July 15, at Brgy. 59-A Sampaguita. The said move is part of City’s campaign to intensify rabies awareness and reclaim the ‘Rabies-free City’ status, which was revoked following the first human rabies death last June 30, after 14 years of maintaining the said tag. As of June 22, 2020, a total of 8, 406 dogs have been vaccinated, CVO reported. The team is also set to conduct free door-to-door anti-rabies immunization in the remaining barangays of the City this July. (CIO)

TACLOBAN CITY- After losing its status as a rabies-free, this city’s veterinary office is intensifying its vaccination among dogs in particular.
For the past 14 years, Tacloban City was the only rabies-free area in the entire Eastern Visayas.
But such distinction was lost after a 27-year old man from Barangay 94-A died on June 30 of this year after he was bitten by their six-month old dog.
Both the man and the dog died hours apart on that day.
Dr. Eunice Alcantara, head of the City Veterinary office (CVO), said that they were ‘sad’ of the incident saying Tacloban has never had such a case for the last 14 years.
“The last time we have such a case of human rabies death was in 2004 involving a 19-year old man who butchered a dog as their pulutan(appetizer),” she said.
But with this latest rabies incident, their office will intensify further their anti-rabies vaccination campaign in the city to ensure no similar incident will happen again.
And for the city to reclaim its being a ‘rabies-free city,’ it need to have a zero case for the next five years or until 2025, Alcantara said.
“We have further intensified our anti-rabies vaccination in all barangays of the city, sometimes we do this through door-to-door vaccination to ensure that all dogs will be vaccinated,” she said.
According to Alcantara, for this year, they are targeting 16,800 dogs for vaccination and so far, they have already inoculated more than 8,400 dogs.
“We are encouraging our pet owners to have their dogs vaccinated for their own safety and this is free,” she said.
She said that they have 1,800 vials of vaccines which is more than enough of their needed 1,600 vials. Much of these vaccines were provided by the city government under Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
One vial could vaccinate 10 dogs.
As part of their campaign, the CVO also continue its campaign against stray dogs.
As of last month, around 1,279 dogs have been impounded. Owners of these dogs could recovered them once they pay a fine of P2,000 based on an ordinance, or the Animal Code of Tacloban.