3 million fully vaccinated vs COVID-19 in Philippines, says Palace

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 08 2021 03:43 PM

Gov't adviser says rate still low

3 million fully vaccinated vs COVID-19 in Philippines, says Palace 1
Residents receive their second jab of Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine at Potrero Elementary School in Malabon City on July 7, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Malacañang on Thursday said that some 3 million individuals in the country have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a figure that a government adviser acknowledged remained below government target. 

As of July 7, authorities have administered 12,489,777 doses of different COVID-19 vaccine brands. A total of 3,089,976 individuals have so far received 2 doses and are now "fully vaccinated", said Palace spokesman Harry Roque. 

"Conservative number pa po ito at inaasahan natin na tataas pa ang bilang ‘pag dumating na ang mga numero mula sa mga lokal na pamahalaan at pribadong sektor," he said in a press briefing. 
(This is still a conservative number, and we expect the tally to go up when the numbers from the local governments and private sector come in.) 

Video courtesy of PTV

The Philippines aims to vaccinate 58 to 70 million this year to safely reopen the economy, which last year suffered its worst postwar slump due to the coronavirus crisis. 

The latest number of fully vaccinated individuals in the country equate to about 4 percent of the maximum target population, noted Dr. Ted Herbosa, special adviser to the National Task Force Against COVID-19. 

"Mababa pa rin po ‘yan," he said in a separate public briefing. 

About 90 percent or some 1.8 million out of 1.9 health workers, the top inoculation priority group, have been vaccinated, said Herbosa. 

However, only 29 percent of 9.8 million senior citizens have received at least one vaccine dose, he said. 

"Mataas ang hesitancy nakita namin among senior citizens. Sinasabi nila, matanda na raw sila... ibigay mo na sa bata yan," Herbosa said. 

(The hesitancy we saw among senior citizens is high. They say they are already old, give it to younger people.)

He reminded the elderly that their age group faces a "high mortality" risk from COVID-19. "Kayo po ang talagang nangangailangan ng bakuna," he said. 

(You need the vaccines the most.) 

Herbosa said experts eye recommending the lifting of the anti-virus mask requirement once around 40 to 50 million people have been vaccinated. 

"Siguro magtiis muna tayo. Magsuot pa tayo ng mask, face shield, hugas ng kamay, umiwas sa matataong lugar," he said. 

(Perhaps we should endure for now. Let us wear masks and face shields, wash our hands frequently, and avoided crowded places.) 

The Philippines has the second highest COVID-19 tally in Southeast Asia, with some 1.4 million coronavirus cases. 

Video courtesy of PTV