A total of 37,964 minors with comorbidities aged 12 to 17 have already been inoculated against COVID-19, the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) said on Tuesday.
“We started the rollout of the [vaccination] of 12 to 18 years old with comorbidities in other areas on October 29,” NVOC chairperson Myrna Cabotaje said during the Laging Handa briefing.
Cabotaje said as of October 31, 59.3 million doses have been administered nationwide. Around 31.9 million individuals have received at least one dose while 27.3 million have been fully vaccinated against the illness.
She said 1.6 million or 99.75 percent of health workers have received at least one dose while 1.5 million or 95.35 percent have received two doses.
At the same time, at least 2.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses of Sputnik V will arrive in the country today, boosting the government’s immunization drive particularly in the far-flung areas, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Roque, also the spokesman of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, said that the shipment will arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
He said that the latest vaccine deliveries in the country of over two million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses were donated by the United States through the Covax Facility.
With the supply, Roque encouraged the public to get vaccinated for everyone’s protection.
“There is no more reason not to get inoculated. Vaccination will protect us as well as our loved ones” he said.
Meanwhile, Cabotaje also pushed for the vaccination of senior citizens.
At present, around 5.1 million or 62.30 percent of senior citizens have received at least one dose while 4.7 million or 57.65 percent have been fully vaccinated, slightly higher than the 56.22 percent reported by Cabotaje previously.
Cabotaje said the government is having trouble meeting its target of 70 percent vaccinated individuals due to vaccine hesitancy.
“Our problem previously was the lack of vaccines. Now that we have vaccines, we’re having trouble urging those who are hesitant,” said Cabotaje.
“But with the opening of the rest of the adult population… I hope we can ramp up the vaccination of 12 and above,” she said. Cabotaje said the Philippines recorded an average daily jab rate of 500,00 for the past week.
Meanwhile, she said that authorities expect to have fully vaccinated the eligible population in the National Capital Region by November or December.
"We are expecting this November to achieve the 18 and above. But let us remember that not all vaccinated in NCR are from the region,” Cabotaje said.
According to Roque, the country received more than 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses as of October 28.
Meanwhile, National Task Force against Covid-19 and vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. lauded the efforts of the United States for ramping up the supplies of the vaccines to the country.
Galvez said the newly-arrived Pfizer vaccine and those coming in later will be distributed to different cities in the country.
With improving vaccination rates in Metro Manila, Galvez expressed confidence that population protection will be attained by the middle or end of November.
"I'm so confident that soon we will be having some sort of normality in Metro Manila considering that Metro Manila has the highest vaccination rate, with about 92 percent first dose and more than 80 percent fully vaccinated. And with the vaccination of children coming up for Metro Manila, we (going to) scale up its protection,” Galvez said.
With Covid-19 vaccine supplies no longer an issue, he said the President has instructed all LGUs and provincial officials to scale up or fast track their vaccination programs to make use of all available jabs.