MANILA - President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. attended the launch of the PinasLakas campaign, a Department of Health initiative to ramp up booster vaccination against COVID-19 within the first 100 days of his administration, at the Pasig City Sports Complex on Monday.
“Ang sadya ko dito ngayong hapon ay napakasimple lang. Tinitignan ko kung maganda at mahusay ang patakbo ng ating booster rollout na ating ginagawa ngayon,” Marcos said.
The chief executive congratulated the Pasig City government for its vaccination procedure and rollout. He asked Pasig residents at the venue to invite other family and friends to get vaccinated.
“Wala tayong ibang panlaban [sa COVID] kundi vaccine. 'Wag na nating intayin na dumami pa ang mga kaso at maging mahirap na naman ang ating pagpunta sa trabaho at paglabas ng bahay,” Marcos said.
“Sa aking palagay, kaya na nating ma-control ito kaya’t di na tayo magla-lockdown, lalo na ‘pag naging matagumpay ang ating roll out,” he added.
PinasLakas was launched on July 26. Marcos said the rollout was decided after talks with health officials were held concerning the preparation for face-to-face classes.
“Ang rekomendasyon ng DOH, 'wag lang mga bata. Lahat na dapat mapa-booster para ligtas sila sa COVID, sa omicron and its variants,” Marcos said.
The program aims to administer booster shots to 23 million eligible people within the first 100 days of the new administration, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire had said.
The program targets 397,000 first booster jabs per day. DOH data records only 185,000 per day though so far.
As of July 26, data from DOH showed that 15.9 million Filipinos have been given their first booster shot. Meanwhile, 1.2 million individuals, mostly belonging to the vulnerable population (healthcare workers, senior citizens, and the immunocompromised), have received their second booster dose.
The booster campaign will bring immunization to communities, instead of inviting individuals to go to vaccination centers. Vergeire said they hope this strategy will increase vaccine take-up.
Pasig City administers the COVID-19 vaccine to an average of 1,400 individuals daily across its four vaccination centers operating Mondays through Fridays. It is a mix of primary series, booster, adult and pediatric vaccinations.
Pasig City COVID-19 focal person Dr. Angelo Saquitan said they hope this number can still be increased.
“Mas maganda kung [mas] mataas lalo sa first booster. ‘Yun ang talagang pinu-push ng DOH na mapaigting pa ang first booster,” Saquitan said.
Pasig City will begin its PinasLakas caravan to take vaccination to communities next week.