DOH: 2.4 million senior citizens still not vaccinated vs COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — Around 2.4 million senior citizens in the country remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 as some refuse to be inoculated due to their old age, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje reported Monday.
During the Laging Handa briefing, Cabotaje said first and second dose vaccination rates among senior citizens are at 68 percent and 70 percent, respectively.
“Two point four million pa ang ating kailangan mabakunahan na senior citizen (We still need to vaccinate 2.4 million senior citizens),” Cabotaje said.
“Hindi naman vaccine hesitancy. Yung iba ayaw na kasi sabi nila mamamatay na sila, kung mamatay, mamatay. Hindi nila naiintindihan na pag sila ay nagkasakit ay maa-affect din yung kanilang pamilya,” she added.
(It’s not about vaccine hesitancy. Some just refuse because they are saying they will die anyway. They do not understand that if they get infected, it will also affect their families.)
According to Cabotaje, easing the vaccination process could be a way to encourage more senior citizens to get inoculated.
“Ilalapit na natin sa kanila. Yung iba nahihirapan pumunta sa malalayong vaccination sites (We will bring the vaccination closer to them. Some are having a hard time going to vaccination sites because of distance),” Cabotaje said.
“So ang ginawa ng ibang local na pamahalaan, naghouse-to-house, yung iba nilapit yung mobile fix post kung saan mayroong maraming mga senior, doon nila ilalagay yung kanilang bakuna center,” she added.
(Some local governments conducted house-to-house vaccination. Some brought their bakuna center closer to where the senior citizens are.)
Cabotaje urged senior citizens to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying they are the “most at risk and most vulnerable.”
A total of 62.3 million individuals have so far been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 while 6.9 million have already received their boosters as of February 19, according to the DOH.