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DOH reports 33.3M fully vaccinated Filipinos

About 33.3 million individuals or 39% of the eligible population in the country are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

In a radio interview, Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire said the 39% is based on the population who are allowed to get vaccinated, which is around 84 million.

This figure is still far from the government’s target of vaccinating 80% of its 109 million population by May 9, 2022.

The DOH is, however, ramping up the inoculation drive by conducting a three-day national vaccination campaign dubbed as “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” which seeks to administer five million doses daily or a total of 1 million jabs.

Vergeire emphasized that this shall prioritize the unvaccinated individuals, but the DOH has yet to decide if the boosters will be included in this inoculation drive from November 29 to December 1.

“Kaya natin ito ginagawa para maitaas pa ho natin ang fully vaccinated sa ating bansa bago man lang mag-Pasko, bago mag-holiday season. So, that’s our real target--those who are not yet vaccinated,” she said.

(We are doing this to increase the number of fully vaccinated individuals in our country before the Christmas season. Our real target is those who are not yet vaccinated.)

“Ito po ang pinaguusapan sa ngayon ano, if we are going to also have booster shots during this National Vaccination Day. Magbibigay po tayo ng anunsyo kung itutuloy po natin itong booster vaccination during these three days po.”

(We are still discussing if we would include the booster shots during the National Vaccination Day, and if so, we will announce it soon.)

Booster shot launch

Meanwhile, the DOH will also launch on Monday the expansion of the eligibility for the COVID-19 booster shots among the elderly and third doses for those with comorbidities.

“Today is our launch para maumpisahan na booster shots for the senior citizens and third doses for those immunocompromised individuals. Gagawin po natin ito in phases. Gusto lang po namin ipaliwanag at maging klaro [na] hindi pa po lahat ng A3 ay mababakunahan na ng booster, doon po muna tayo magumpisa sa mga immunocompromised individuals,” Vergeire said.

(We are launching today so we can start the booster shots for senior citizens and third doses for immunocompromised individuals. We will do this in phases. We just want to clarify that not everyone in the A3 category will already be given boosters as we will start with the immunocompromised.) 

The DOH said the administration of booster doses is not yet available for the general population. Phase 1 will cover all senior citizens and A3 individuals in immunocompromised state, while during Phase 2, the remaining A3 population with other comorbidities will be given the booster.

Vergeire added that the immunocompromised individuals need to present a clearance from their attending physicians and need to pre-register before getting the additional dose. — RSJ, GMA News