71% of PH’s target population now fully vaxxed vs COVID-19, says Duque
MANILA, Philippines – About 71 percent of the Philippines’ target population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Thursday.
According to the latest tally from the government, the Philippines has 63.6 million fully vaccinated adults, of which 10.5 million have already received their booster shot.
Meanwhile, 8.5 million minors aged 12 to 17 have been vaccinated by the government, while over 900,000 children aged 5 to 11 have received their first dose of the vaccine.
“Sa ngayon, 71 percent pa lang tayo more or less ang ating vaccination coverage of our target population,” Duque said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
The government is aiming to inoculate 80% of the population, which amounts to 90 million Filipinos.
The government had initially set its target vaccination to 70% of the population but eventually raised it to 80% considering the emergence of more contagious COVID-19 variants such as Delta and Omicron.
To further ramp up vaccination, the government launched the fourth leg of its COVID-19 vaccination drive, which started on Thursday, March 10 and will last until Saturday, March 12.
The drive aims to inoculate over 1.8 million Filipinos, particularly giving second doses for senior citizens (A2 category) and minors 12 to 17 years old, Duque said.
Booster doses will also be administered in the vaccination drive for healthcare workers and economic frontliners, he added.
“Ang inaasahan natin ay makadagdag ito at mas malapit na nating maabot ‘yung ating 80 percent of the Philippine population [vaccinated] which is 90 million Filipinos target natin,” he added.
(We hope that this will add, and we will be closer to reaching our 80 percent target of the Philippine population, which is 90 million Filipinos.)
The fourth phase of the vaccination drive also intends to intensify vaccination coverage in areas where the COVID-19 vaccination rate is still low such as BARMM, Region 7, Region 12, and Region 4B.
For his part, PMA president Dr. Benny Atienza called on Filipinos to get immunized and boosted against COVID-19.
“Sana mas marami pa ang magpabakuna kasi sinasabi natin there are 2 million pa na mga senior citizens ang hindi pa nagpapabakuna at tsaka itong mga may comorbidity 200,000, he said.
(Hopefully, more will get vaccinated because there are 2 million more senior citizens who have not been vaccinated, and moreover, those with comorbidity are 200,000)
“Sana magpabakuna sila at sana magpa-booster dose ‘yung 50 million pa nating mga kababayan na nabigyan na ng first and second dose,” said Atienza.
(I hope they get vaccinated and I hope they get booster doses for the other 50 million of our countrymen who have already been given the first and second doses.)
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. also encouraged the citizens to get vaccinated at all vaccination sites and clinics during the national vaccination day 4.
“‘Yung mga hindi pa po bakunado, magpabakuna na po tayo dahil kasi ito po ang ating daan laban sa pandemya,” he said in a video message.
(Those who have not been vaccinated, let’s get vaccinated because this is our way to fight the pandemic.) Jericho Zafra, INQUIRER.net intern
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