DOH says ongoing nat'l vaccination drive may be extended
MANILA—Authorities have so far administered a total of 836,162 COVID-19 jabs during the 4th round of the National Vaccination Days, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Saturday.
In a public briefing, Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said most of the administered virus shots from March 10 to 11 were 2nd doses and boosters.
The new vaccination drive, which aims to administer some 1.8 million shots, is expected to end later in the day.
A total of 359,546 individuals received their second dose, while 273,301 got their boosters, data shared by Cabotaje showed.
She added that 202,915 received their 1st doses. Nearly 24,000 senior citizens, she said, were vaccinated during the inoculation drive.
"Nakita natin mababa ang ating coverage ng senior [citizens] although ang ating regional offices at mga LGU ay gumawa ng iba't ibang strategy para ilapit ang bakuna sa ating mga mamamayan," Cabotaje said.
"Mag nag-house-to-house, stall-to-stall sa mall, may bakunahan sa simabahan, malalayong mga lugar. So we need innovative and creative strategies sa level ng communities."
Cabotaje said health authorities have discussed the possibility of extending the ongoing vaccination drive.
The DOH has also asked regional offices to look into the reasons why some individuals do not want to be vaccinated, she noted.
"Ang sinasabi ng iba nag-NVD na sila araw-araw, pero ang gusto nating i-highlight na ang national vaccination day dapat more focused, more effort, more resources outside of the regular . . . during the regular vaccination," she said.
Cabotaje attributed the relatively low vaccination reach to hesitancy, complacency, and the view of the elderly that they do not need the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Bangsamoro, Mimaropa, Central Visayas, and Soccsksargen regions are still the lowest-performing regions in terms of vaccination, she said.
"Kailangan more advocacy for those who do not want to be vaccinated."
The Philippines has fully vaccinated almost 64 million individuals, government data showed.