Gov’t optimistic about reaching 9M target for 3-day vax drive: DOH

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2021 12:00 PM

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MANILA – The government is optimistic about meeting its target of vaccinating 9 million people in its three-day national vaccination drive, a Department of Health (DOH) official said Wednesday.

“We are positive, we are anticipating that we will be able to reach the 9 million but we know there are challenges along the way,” Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said.

Around 2.5 million Filipinos were vaccinated against COVID-19 on the first day of the "Bayanihan, Bakunahan" drive. This is about 500,000 shy of government’s 3 million target for administered jabs daily during the campaign. 

“With the 2.5 million accomplishment on Day 1, we expect to [have equaled] or even [surpassed] it yesterday. Our figures are not yet in, we were hoping more jabs would have been administered yesterday, it being a holiday and provided opportunity for the vaccinees to go to the vaccination centers,” she said.

Cabotaje noted that many areas in the country exceeded their targets on the first day of the vaccination drive.

Challenges remain, however, in distributing vaccines to far-flung areas. 

“For the vaccination turnout, many of the areas surpassed their expectations for Day 1, but there were a few areas that were unable to do it, and these were the mostly the hard-to-reach areas.”

“There was some delay in the delivery of the vaccines,” she said.

“We used the assets of the (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and some of our private partners to deliver these vaccines,” she explained.

The Philippines has been dealing with one of Asia's worst COVID-19 outbreaks and its vaccine rollout has been slower than many neighbors, with just over a third of its 110 million population inoculated.

Average new daily infections have fallen sharply to 1,644 in November from 18,579 in September, paving the way for a wider economic reopening.

Vaccination rates are uneven, however, with 93 percent of the capital region's eligible residents inoculated compared with 11 percent in the poorest parts of the south.

--ANC, 1 December 2021