MANILA — The interior department on Friday said government manpower is insufficient for now to launch expansive house-to-house COVID-19 vaccinations, which could prevent overcrowding at inoculation sites.
House-to-house vaccinations are typically limited to bedridden patients, said Interior Undersecretary Jonahan Malaya.
"Hindi po natin puwedeng gawing massive ‘yan dahil hindi naman po ganoon karami ang ating vaccinators at malaki pong manpower ang kakailanganin natin, kahit ‘yong pag-transport na lang ng mga bakuna," he said in a televised public briefing.
(We cannot make it massive yet because our vaccinators are not that many, and we will need massive manpower, even with just the transportation of vaccines.)
The official noted that vaccines should be safely transported while maintaining temperature requirements.
"This is a logistical issue na unfortunately, hindi po natin makakaya ang house-to-house," Malaya said.
(We are not capable of house-to-house vaccination.)
To prevent overcrowding at inoculation sites during Metro Manila's lockdown, only individuals with QR codes and confirmed appointments will be allowed to travel for vaccination, he said.
Video courtesy of PTV
Home to some 13 million people, the capital region is under the toughest lockdown level from Aug. 6 to 20 to contain cases of the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 variant.
On the eve of Metro Manila's enhanced community quarantine, chaos overtook several COVID-19 vaccination sites when thousands showed up hoping to receive a jab.
Photos on social media showed people jostling to be the first in line at vaccination centers, prompting police intervention to enforce social distancing rules.
The Philippines has so far fully vaccinated some 10.7 million people. Government aims to immunize up to 70 million people this year to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 and safely reopen the economy.
With around 1.6 million COVID-19 cases and more than 28,000 deaths, the Philippines has the second worst coronavirus outbreak in Southeast Asia, next to Indonesia.
The Philippines has detected some 300 cases of the Delta variant that is driving an uptick in infections across the region.
— With a report from Reuters