113,000 Filipinos missing second COVID-19 vaccine dose still alarming: VP Robredo

Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 06 2021 01:33 PM

113,000 Filipinos missing second COVID-19 vaccine dose still alarming: VP Robredo 1
The Greenhills Theater in San Juan is converted into a vaccination site on June 1, 2021 as the city prepares to widen the category of those being vaccinated to A4, to include frontline workers in the private and public sector. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Despite a supposedly lower figure of 113,000 Filipinos missing their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, the number is still alarming, Vice President Leni Robredo said Sunday following the clarification of the Department of Health.

Only 9 percent of individuals who got their first dose of the vaccine deferred getting their second shot, not 1 million as previously reported by IATF consultant Dr. John Wong, the DOH said.

"Para sa akin, whether isang milyon yon, whether 113,000... ang laki. Naghahabol tayo ng numbers, naghahabol tayo ng supply na hindi ma-expire. So dapat may sistema talaga para masiguro na babalik yung mga tao," Robredo said in her weekly radio show.

(Whether it's a million or 113,000...it's still a huge number. We're chasing figures, and supply that shouldn't expire. So we need a system that will ensure people will come back [for a second dose].)

It does not help that some local governments lack manpower to administer the shots, Robredo added.

"Ang common na problema sa mga LGUs na nakakausap natin, kulang talaga sila ng nagbabakuna -- kahit andyan ang supply, kulang ang taga-bakuna," she said.

(The most common problems in LGUs we've talked with is that they lack personnel who administer the vaccines. Even if there's supply of vaccines, we don't have the manpower.)

Vaccines should also be protected from power outages, Robredo said.

"Inexcusable na masiraan tayo either nag-brown out or hindi na-on ang temperature o freezer kasi napaka-valuable ng bakuna," she said.

(Brownouts and forgetting to turn on the temperature or freezer are inexcusable because vaccines are valuable.)

The Vice President said government, meanwhile, has to be careful in easing quarantine restrictions to open up the economy.

"Yung anxiety ng mga doktor na nagpahayag ng pagkabahala na ino-open ito, baka magkaroon tayo ng third surge, 'pag nagka-third surge tayo mas magiging malala siya. 'Yan ang sinasabi nila. Hindi na natin kakayanin pag nagkaroon pa," she said.

(Doctors are anxious on reopening the economy because we might experience a third surge, which would be worse. That's what they're saying. We can't manage another surge.)

The Philippines has administered over 5.38 million vaccine shots against COVID-19, including 4,088,422 first doses, as of June 2. A total of 1,293,750 people have completed the two-dose regimen. 

The country's total COVID-19 cases climbed to more than 1.26 million on Saturday, of which 59,543 or 4.7 percent were active infections while 21,732 were deaths.

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