The Philippine government, in its COVID-19 vaccination program, is targeting to vaccinate around 77 million individuals or 85% of the targeted eligible population by the end of June, the Department of Health said Saturday.
"Our target would be 77 million individuals by the end of June. This is 85% of our targeted eligible population which is 90 million," DOH Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said at the Laging Handa briefing.
"Currently that is our working target. We already were able to vaccinate 68.5 million Filipinos. We expect only a little number, we hope to reach them by the end of June," she added.
Vergeire also reported that 7,407 individuals got their COVID-19 jabs in vaccination sites near polling precincts last May 9, Election Day.
"This is something small kung ikukumpara natin sa pang-araw-araw nating accomplishment pero maganda na rin po kasi nakita natin na 'yung ating mga kababayan interesado at willing magpabakuna kahit na pagkatapos pa ng eleksyon na ubod ng init ng araw," she said.
(This is something small if we compare it with our daily accomplishments, but it is better because we saw that our countrymen are interested and willing to get vaccinated even after the election in the heat of the sun.)
The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is currently holding special vaccination days due to its low vaccination turnout.
The DOH is also assisting Quezon in Region 4-A, as well as Regions 4-B, 5, 7, and 12 to increase the level of vaccination in the said areas.
Vergeire on Friday said the Philippines had detected 14 cases of the Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 - two in the National Capital Region (NCR) and 12 in Palawan.
Vergeire said all cases were declared as recovered, and the patients only experienced mild symptoms since they all had their COVID-19 vaccination.
"Ito pong variant na ito, hindi pa ho siya naka-classify as a variant of concern or a variant of interest by WHO, kasi patuloy pa hong pinag-aaralan ang characteristics nitong variant na ito," she said.
(The BA.2.12.1 variant is not yet classified as a variant of concern or a variant of interest by the World Health Organization, as its characteristics are currently being studied.)
Citing initial studies, Vergeire said the subvariant is 23 to 27 percent more transmissible than the original Omicron variant, and could escape people's immunity. However, there are no studies yet of people having severe cases due to BA.2.12.1. — DVM, GMA News