Duterte approved postponement of nat'l vax drive in some areas due to Odette —Año


President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the proposal to move the second round of national vaccination drive in some areas due to the threat of Tropical Storm Rai, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said Tuesday.

"Approved na [It's been approved]. Visayas, Mindanao, Mimaropa, and Bicol Region are postponed to December 20,” Año told GMA News Online in a message.

The National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 has recommended the rescheduling of the vaccination drive to December 20 to 22 due to Rai, which is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) within the day.

In a Facebook post, the Department of Health (DOH) said the vaccination drive will be postponed in Regions V, IV-B, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI and XII, as well as in Caraga and the Bangsamoro regions.

However, vaccination will push through in Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon as scheduled on Wednesday, December 15. It will last until December 17.

Regions included here are the Cordillera Administrative Region, the National Capital Region, Region I, Region II, Region III, and Region IV-A.


“We urge everyone to stay safe, follow safety protocols, and stay tuned for further developments,” the DOH said.

The tropical storm is expected to enter PAR on Tuesday evening and will then be renamed Odette, according to weather bureau PAGASA.

As of 3 a.m., Rai was located at 1,380 kilometers east of Mindanao with maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour with gustiness up to 105 kph and moving northwestward at 30 kph.

PAGASA said Odette may make landfall in the vicinity of Caraga or Eastern Visayas on Thursday afternoon or evening. It also said Odette may reach typhoon category.  —with Joahna Lei Casilao/KBK, GMA News