Philippines’ fully vaccinated vs. COVID-19 at 71.8 million


The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said more than 71.8 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of August 5.

At a press briefing, DOH officer in charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said more than 9.7 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 along with more than 4.2 million children aged 5 to 11 have been fully vaccinated in preparation for face-to-face classes.

Vergeire said at least 16.4 million individuals are already part of its “PinasLakas” campaign which aims to give booster shots to 23.8 million Filipinos within the first 100 days

of the Marcos administration.

Over 1.4 million individuals have already received their second booster shots.

She said around 6.8 million senior citizens have been already inoculated against the viral disease.

“Makilahok at sumali na po sa PinasLakas campaign makareceive tayo ng ating first booster shot sa lalong madaling panahon dahil kapag bakunado protektado,” Vergeire said.

(Participate and join the PinasLakas campaign so we can receive our first booster shot as soon as possible for us to be protected against the viral disease.)

‘No prioritization list’

Vergeire said there is currently "no prioritization list" in vaccinating individuals against COVID-19, amid the calls to abolish its prioritization list to avoid vaccine wastage.

“The very objective why we had prioritization before kasi po kulang pa yung bakuna natin nung naguumpisa tayo magpabakuna and that was about March 2021,” Vergeire said.

“Hanggang siguro po third quarter of 2021, pinapatupad natin yung prioritization dahil hindi ganoon kadami ang ating bakuna supplies noon. Pero ngayon po na we have enough supplies, supplies are sufficient until the end of this year,” she added.

(Maybe until the third quarter of 2021, we are implementing the prioritization because our vaccine supplies were not that much then. But now we have enough supplies, there are sufficient until the end of this year.)

According to Vergeire, eligible individuals are encouraged to go to their respective local governments and get vaccinated.

“Lahat ng tinatawag nating eligible population maari nang magpabakuna, actually wala na tayong schedules ngayon sa mga local governments kapag kayo ay pumunta at magpapabakuna kahit walk-in babakunahan kayo, as long as you are eligible,” she said.

(We are calling the eligible population, you can now be vaccinated, actually we don't have schedules now in the local governments, they can go and get vaccinated even if you walk-in you will be vaccinated, as long as you are eligible.)

Probe on vaccine wastage

Vergeire said the Health department is ready to answer and cooperate with the Senate investigation of looking into the estimated P5 billion to P13 billion worth of unused and expired COVID-19 vaccines procured by the national government.


“Gusto lang natin sabihin na ang Kagawaran ng Kalusugan ay handa naman pong sumagot sa kahit anong katanungan o imbestigasyon ukol dito sa ating vaccine deployment program which includes the wastage of vaccines,” she said.

(We just want to say that the DOH is ready to answer any question or investigation regarding our vaccine deployment program which includes the wastage of vaccines.)

“Sa ngayon po ang ating vaccine wastage is less than 10%. Yung 10% na po yun yung binigay na threshold ng WHO (World Health Organization) through their COVAX facility na maging parang standard huwag lalagpas pa sa 10% ang wastage,” she added.

(Right now our vaccine wastage is less than 10%. The 10% is the threshold given by the WHO through their COVAX facility set as a standard, the wastage should not exceed 10%.)

Senator Risa Hontiveros said she filed a resolution seeking a probe into the "large-scale" wastage of COVID-19 vaccines, which she said "should never be tolerated.”

Vergeire said the “vaccine wastage” is part of the vaccine deployment program, adding that it needed a further explanation.

“Ang wastage po ng bakuna is part of the program of vaccine deployment. Hindi naman po yan nawawala sa bawat pagbabakuna sa bawat programang pinapatupad. Nagkataon lang po na kailangan natin maipaliwanag sa ating mga kababayan kung bakit nasisira ang bakuna,” she said.

(The wastage of the vaccine is part of the program of vaccine deployment. That is included with every vaccination in every program implemented. It just happens that we need to explain to our countrymen why the vaccines were damaged.)

“Ang pagwawaste ng bakuna o pagkasira ng bakuna does not mean only expiring vaccines. There are also other factors which makes the vaccine hindi na pwede ibigay sa ating mga kababayan,” she added.

(The wastage of the vaccine does not mean only expiring vaccines. There are also other factors which make the vaccine no longer possible to give to our fellow Filipinos.)

The DOH OIC said among the reasons for wastage vaccines include damage in vials when they were delivered, some were damaged due to calamities such as typhoons, power outages, and fire in one area.

“These are part of wastage factors na mayroon tayo. Hindi natin ikakaila na may nag-expire tayong mga bakuna,” she said.

(These are part of the wastage factors that we have. We cannot deny that we have expired vaccines.)

“Amin po itong sasagutin sa tamang forum, ayaw natin magbigay ngayon ng eksaktong numero kasi habang dumadaan ang araw we continue our inventory, ayaw namin na pahinto hinto ang numerong ibibigay natin specially sa ating mga senador,” she added.

(We will answer this in the right forum, we don't want to give an exact number now because as the day goes by we continue our inventory, we don't want to stop the number we will give especially to our senators.)

Go Negosyo founder and former Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion earlier said 3.6 million doses of Moderna vaccines had expired on July 27 while 623,000 AstraZeneca doses were set to expire on July 31.

This accounts for a total of 4.2 million vaccines, which he said were worth around P5.1 billion.

Concepcion said the inability of the private sector to administer the doses on time was due to the delay in the Health Technology Assessment Council's (HTAC) approval of the second booster vaccination for Filipinos aged 50 years and older and for adults with comorbidities. —NB, GMA News