DOH yet to reach booster target in Bongbong Marcos’ first 100 days | Inquirer News

DOH yet to reach booster target in Bongbong Marcos’ first 100 days

/ 05:42 AM August 05, 2022
elderly man receiving his first booster shot

An elderly man receiving his first booster shot in Manila. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday said it was hopeful that its intensified booster campaign would achieve its target by the end of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s first 100 days despite failing to meet its goal of jabbing about 400,000 individuals daily.

According to the August 3 data from the DOH, 364,784 individuals had availed of first booster shots from July 26 to August 2, or in the first eight days of the nationwide booster drive dubbed “PinasLakas.”

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Based on this number, an average of only 45,598 doses are given per day, far from the daily target of 397,000 shots that have to be administered to achieve a 50-percent first booster coverage nationwide by October 8, or by the end of the first 100 days of the administration of Marcos Jr..

“We know this is still low, that’s why we are intensifying our efforts and that’s why we are going around [the country]. Hopefully, because it’s 100 days, we have until Oct. 8 to achieve that [target],” said Director Gloria Balboa of the DOH’s Metro Manila Center for Health Development at the PinasLakas event.

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The DOH aims to widen primary series coverage to 90 percent of the elderly population and to ramp up booster rates to 50 percent of the overall target population of 78.1 million.

READ: DOH launches COVID-19 booster program targeting 23 million Filipinos

As of Auguast 3, only 6.79 million seniors had been fully vaccinated while more than 16 million had received their first booster shots.

In Metro Manila, where the highest number of the active infections are from, the DOH aims to jab 20,231 seniors for their primary series and give first booster doses to 658,112 individuals per day, Balboa noted.

No more need for lockdowns?

Director Alethea de Guzman of the Epidemiology Bureau pointed out that the health department was no longer inclined to recommend restrictions—whether granular or large-scale lockdowns—as it heavily impacts the economy and other sectors.

“The way that we can be confident that we don’t need to do lockdowns is really by pushing our coverages up … It’s time we achieve [vaccination targets] for boosters,” De Guzman said during the same event at a mall in Quezon City.

READ: No more lockdowns despite rising COVID cases, Marcos Jr. vows

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Pediatric infectious disease expert Dr. Benjamin Co emphasized the importance of ensuring that one’s vaccines are up to date amid the entry of new COVID-19 variants.

“We are lucky to some extent that the Omicron variant of concern generally presents as an upper respiratory infection and mild to moderate [infection] among patients who have been vaccinated,” Co told the Inquirer.

“The mix of hybrid immunity will definitely help us in achieving endemicity, unless another variant of concern appears in the near future,” he added.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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