Philippines eyes another COVID-19 mass vaccination push
The Philippines is eyeing another nationwide mass vaccination drive against COVID-19, an official said on Wednesday, as the country fought its biggest uptick in coronavirus infections.
The first 2 rounds of the "Bayanihan, Bakunahan" program administered 10.2 million vaccine doses from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3, and at least 6.4 million jabs from Dec. 15 to 22.
"Hinihintay lang po natin na medyo humupa-hupa nang kaunti itong omicron surge natin dahil alam naman po natin hirap na hirap po ang ating mga health workers, ang ating mga LGU ngayon," said Presidential Adviser for COVID-19 Response Vince Dizon.
"Magkakaroon din po tayo sa mga susunod na linggo ng bagong ‘Bayanihan Bakunahan’ o National Vaccination Days natin sa buong bansa,"
(We are just waiting for our omicron surge to ease a bit because we know that our health workers and LGUs are having difficulties right now. We will have in the next few weeks another ‘Bayanihan Bakunahan’ or National Vaccination Days nationwide.)
The Philippines has so far fully inoculated about half of its population, but many areas outside the capital region are lagging behind.
Daily coronavirus infections hit record highs several times this month, driven by the highly contagious omicron variant, prompting a tightening of mobility curbs. On Monday, the Philippines started a ban on unvaccinated people from public transport.
The country has recorded more than 3.27 million cases and nearly 53,000 deaths overall.
Government this week will start tapping drugstores and clinics to expand its immunization effort.
— With a report from Reuters