PH begins second run of nationwide vaccination drive

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 15 2021 06:47 PM

Quezon City residents receive their COVID-19 vaccine dose Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Quezon City residents receive their COVID-19 vaccine dose at the Batasan Hills National High School on November 29, 2021, the start of the "National COVID-19 Vaccination Day". Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Philippines on Wednesday began its second run of the "National Vaccination Days" in parts of Luzon as it aims to inoculate some 7 million individuals against COVID-19.

The government is confident that it would reach the target, said Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, head of the National Vaccines Operation Center (NVOC).

"Based on initial reports, maganda naman iyong turnout. Ako nga, nagpabakuna sa geriatric clinic. Maraming senior citizens na kasama ko ang nagpapa-booster," she said in a virtual press briefing.

(The turnout is good based on initial reports. I myself got vaccinated in a geriatric clinic. Many senior citizens are getting their booster shots.)

The "Bayanihan, Bakunahan" Program in Metro Manila, Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon will run until Friday.

The vaccination drive will be held in other regions on Dec. 20 to 22 as authorities prepare for the onslaught of severe tropical storm Odette, which entered the Philippine area of responsibility on Tuesday evening.

Caraga is eyeing to conduct the inoculation program on Dec. 27 to 29 if the storm inundates the region, said Cabotaje.

Another run or a monthly run of the vaccination drive is being proposed, she added.

"'Yung round 3, may proposals na every month may ganitong campaign mode para mas mapaigting pa in addition to daily vaccination," she said.

Those who received an initial dose during the first run of the jab campaign are due for a second dose this month, as government targets 54 million fully vaccinated individuals before yearend, according to Cabotaje.

"Sa ngayon, nasa 42 million (fully vaccinated individuals) tayo. Mga 12 million pa ang hahabulin natin. May due ng second dose for round 1, mga 80 percent due next week or the last week of December," she said.

(Right now, we have 42 million fully vaccinated individuals. We still have 12 million more to go to reach 54 million. Some 80 percent of those inoculated during round 1 are due next week or the last week of December for a second dose.)

"Inaasahan po natin ang ating J&J, one dose lang siya. So sana makamit natin. Subukan nating makamit ang target natin."

(We're also expecting more J&J vaccines which is a single-shot product. So hopefully we can achieve the target.)

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Around 10.25 million Filipinos were inoculated during the initial run of the vaccination program from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, which was later extended to Dec. 3 to sustain public enthusiasm.

The widening vaccination coverage in the country is being cited as key in the decline of new cases observed since October.