MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said it would deploy more COVID-19 vaccines to evacuation areas near the Taal volcano to ensure that the disease will not spread among evacuees.
The DOH has "procured enough vaccines for all evacuees" and will be "providing additional vaccines as well as additional test kits," said Dr. Voltaire Guadalupe, head of Calabarzon region's Health Emergency Medical Service.
"Lahat ng pwedeng mabakunahan will be vaccinated," he said in an online press conference.
(All those who are eligible to be vaccinated will be vaccinated.)
The number of COVID-19 cases in areas surrounding the Taal volcano is limited, he said.
"Konti lang ho ang ating kaso doon at kilala na po sila ng ating local health workers," he said.
(We have few cases there and they are already identified by local health workers.)
The DOH has yet to say how many evacuees either tested positive for COVID-19 or are showing symptoms of the disease.
"The suspects have already been identified and are in isolation," Guadalupe said, noting that evacuees who have been placed in isolation are set to be tested for COVID-19.
"Wala po tayong urgent need to be concerned at the moment," he said.
(We don't have an urgent need to be concerned at the moment.)
Other regions are also preparing for the onset of typhoons and other calamities, which may make COVID-19 vaccination and testing more difficult, Health spokesperson and Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
"We are hoping that by vaccinating individuals and monitoring them through antigen test kits," transmission of COVID-19 in evacuation sites may be limited, she said.
As of July 4, the Philippines has fully vaccinated 2.86 million Filipinos, about 3 percent of the number needed to attain herd immunity in the country.