DOH eyes 4th 'National Vaccination Days' in March

Wena Cos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2022 03:07 PM

A man gets vaccinated at the LRT-2 Recto Station in Manila on February 22, 2022. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said commuters may get their primary COVID-19 vaccine doses and booster shots at the Recto Station every Tuesday and Thursday from 8 am to 5 pm, and at the Antipolo Station, every Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 am to 4 pm. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
A man gets vaccinated at the LRT-2 Recto Station in Manila on February 22, 2022. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said commuters may get their primary COVID-19 vaccine doses and booster shots at the Recto Station every Tuesday and Thursday from 8 am to 5 pm, and at the Antipolo Station, every Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 am to 4 pm. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Health is pushing for another iteration of its National Vaccination Days against COVID-19 to ramp up the country's inoculation across the country, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Thursday. 

"Itong Marso, susunod na buwan makakasiguro po kayo na magpapaganap na naman po tayo ng National Vaccination Day 4," Duque said at a Laging Handa briefing.

This after the DOH recognized the challenges in administering vaccines in areas with low vaccination rates. 

During the last National Vaccination Days dubbed 'Bayanihan, Bakunahan 3', the government failed to meet its target 5 million shots to be administered even despite extending the period.

Only more than 3.5 million doses were administered from February 10 to 18, authorities said.

As of Feb. 21, nearly 61.9 million people in the country have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, data monitored by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group showed. More than 62.6 million others have received their first dose.

Up to 9.7 million booster shots have also been administered.

According to Duque, the fourth National Vaccination Days will target administering boosters to senior citizens, and the primary series for the pediatric population. 

He echoed Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez in saying that the country has reached its saturation point in vaccination, hence the slowing in many areas. 

The DOH seeks to boost its social marketing campaign and house-to-house vaccination drives to enjoin more Filipinos who have yet to be inoculated to get the jab.

Authorities said the country's widening vaccination coverage has led to fewer people getting seriously ill and hospitalized due to COVID-19.

The Philippines has recorded a total of 3,655,709 COVID-19 cases, as of Wednesday, of which 55,449 are active. Of those still battling the disease, 302 are in critical condition, 1,426 are severely ill, 2,811 are moderate cases, 50,258 are mild, and 652 have no symptoms.

The country logged its first confirmed case on Jan. 30, 2020, and rolled out its vaccination program on March 1, 2021.