MANILA — Government will roll out "barangay-to-barangay" and "house-to-house" COVID-19 vaccinations in a bid to reach millions who have yet to get a single coronavirus jab, an official said.
The Philippines has so far fully vaccinated around 44.2 million of its 109 million population against COVID-19.
"We will vaccinate the unvaccinated by having ‘yung tinatawag nating barangay-to-barangay at saka ‘yung house-to-house," said Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., who leads the immunization effort.
(We will vaccinate the unvaccinated by having our so called barangay-to-barangay and house-to-house drive.)
As an example of the strategy, Galvez cited General Santos City, where 26 barangays each have their own inoculation site, on top of mobile vaccination facilities.
"Nakita po namin kanina ‘yung Barangay Fatima, talagang dinumog po ng mga tao ‘yong vaccination... Tama po ‘yung sinasabi ni [Interior] Sec. [Eduardo] Año na dapat i-empower natin ang barangay," he told President Rodrigo Duterte in a taped meeting that aired on the wee hours of Wednesday.
(We saw people flocking to the vaccination site in Barangay Fatima. Secretary Año was right in saying that we should empower the barangay.)
"Kasi kung ang gagawin po natin na doon sa malls, sa malls lang po ang vaccination site, minsan po hindi po makapunta ‘yong mga tao doon sa malls. Kailangan talaga ibaba po sa barangay ang ating mga vaccination site," added Galvez.
(If we limit the vaccination sites to malls, sometimes people cannot go there. We need to bring down vaccination sites to the barangay level.)
Government aims to complete 54 million COVID-19 vaccinations before the year ends, and eventually inoculate the whole population by 2022.
The Philippines has received more than 190 million doses of COVID-19 shots, which Galvez said can sustain the vaccination vaccination drive until the middle of next year.
In November, the government started the rollout of booster doses for healthcare workers and the elderly.
COVID-19 cases have fallen to an average of 378 a day in December from the peak of 18,579 daily in September.
— With a report from Reuters
Video courtesy of PTV