DILG: Provinces must now ramp up COVID-19 vaccination
Provinces must start ramping up their COVID-19 vaccinations as the supply of jabs increase, the interior department said on Wednesday.
A stockpile of some 40 million vaccine doses have been distributed nationwide, said Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya.
"Meron tayong tinatawag na ‘vax to max’ program… Kailangan po nating pataasin iyong ating current vaccination rate na nasa around 500,000 to 600,000 a day," he said in a televised public briefing.
(We have a so-called ‘vax to max’ program. We need to raise our current vaccination rate that is around 500,000 to 600,000 a day.)
"Kailangan po natin itong gawin from that number, 1 to 1.5 million jabs a day, so kailangan pong mag-double time ang ating local government units," he said.
(From that number, we need to make that 1 to 1.5 million jabs a day, so our local government units need to double time.)
The interior and health departments have meet with officials from Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and other priority areas about this goal, Malaya said.
He said to meet the target, vaccinations can be held over 6 or 7 days a week or extended up to 12 hours.
Officials may also tap schools and gyms as inoculation sites, delegate administrative tasks to non-health workers, do house-to-house information campaigns, and schedule vaccinations per subdivision, among others.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has also instructed police officers and fire bureau personnel who have medical training to help with the inoculation drive, Malaya said.
He noted that under the law, local officials and department heads can face neglect of duty and misconduct charges for vaccine wastage or unjustified failure to ramp up the immunization program.
"Mismo po ang DILG ang magsasampa ng kaso sa kanila at puwede po silang masuspinde o kaya naman matanggal sa serbisyo kung mapapatunayan pong nagkaroon sila ng mga kasong ito," he said.
(The DILG will file cases against them and they can be suspended or removed from service if these cases are proven.)
The agency did not receive complaints of vaccination neglect in Metro Manila, added Malaya.
"Ngunit iba na po ang usapan ngayon dahil we are increasing the target… Ang dami na pong bakuna ngayon na ipinadala sa mga probinsya so we will be closely monitoring them on their ability to meet the daily target," said the official.
(But the issue is different now because we are increasing the target. Many vaccines were sent to the provinces so we will be closely monitoring them on their ability to meet the daily target)
The Philippines has so far fully vaccinated 26.1 million of its 109 million people. It aims to vaccinate up to 70 million to reach herd immunity.