With the country’s relentless fight against COVID-19, we are grateful that vaccines continue to arrive in the country. Just this week, 682,360 doses of Moderna vaccine arrived, bringing our total vaccine supply received to more than 134 million doses. The successive deliveries of vaccines, averaging at 1.5 million doses received daily, significantly boost the capability of the government to inoculate millions of Filipinos across the country.
Now that we have enough supply, the challenge remains to be encouraging Filipinos to get vaccinated. At the end of month, the government will hold a three-day national vaccination drive, from November 29 to December 1, to further ease access of Filipinos to the vaccine. The first and third days are declared working holidays so that employees and workers may go to the designated vaccination sites to get vaccinated without a cut on their salaries. We are hopeful that people will take advantage of this event so that we can achieve our long sought-after herd immunity.
Apart from this, the Department of Health announced the start of administering booster shots to priority populations—health workers, frontliners, senior citizens, persons with co-morbidities, and immunocompromised individuals—who completed their vaccinations at least six months ago. This is a big step toward winning against the pandemic.
With the proven curbing effect of the vaccine in the transmission of COVID-19, I fervently hope that Filipinos have learned the value and impact of getting vaccinated. For the past weeks, we have seen a significant downtrend in the number of cases, even reaching less than a thousand new cases a day. Metro Manila, for instance, has been recording negative growth rates.
As we begin to enjoy the effect of our collective efforts and conscious decision to get vaccinated, let us further encourage the rest of us to get vaccinated as well. Moreover, I urge the eligible population to get booster doses in order to increase protection against the virus. As I said before, we may not be able to completely eliminate this virus in a year’s time, but we can develop immunity and practice safety measures in order to prevent getting infected. This is our chance.
In sum, let me reiterate what I said before: vaccines work. I urge the public to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19. I am hopeful that, with the cooperation and conscientious efforts of Filipinos to get protection from this virus, we may be able to have a merrier Christmas and happier new year.