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DOH to hold special week of vaccination by end of September to increase Filipinos boosted vs. COVID-19

The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said it is planning to hold a special week of vaccination by the end of September in order to increase the number of Filipinos vaccinated with booster doses against COVID-19.

At the press briefing, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the department has already discussed with the centers for health development, regional vaccine operation center, and medical societies to present strategies in order to increase the vaccination coverage of booster doses in the country.

Vergeire said at least 24,661 senior citizens have been vaccinated under the department’s PinasLakas campaign as of August 30.

Last July 26, the DOH launched the PinasLakas campaign with a goal to boost 23.8 million Filipinos or 50% of the eligible population and 90% of senior citizens within the first 100 days of the Marcos administration.

“Dito po sa ating senior citizens atin pong accomplishment cumulative mula noong nag-umpisa tayo is 24,661. Malayong malayo po ito sa tinatarget natin na dapat per day na 17,000 plus tayo na accomplishments so this is just 2.03% of our targeted population for our primary series for senior citizens,” she said.

(Among our senior citizens, our cumulative accomplishment since we started is 24,661. This is far from our target of 17,000 plus accomplishments per day so this is just 2.03% of our targeted population for our primary series for senior citizens.)

Vergeire, meanwhile, said at least 2,103,653 individuals have received their first booster dose or about 8.82% of the eligible population of the 23 million target.

“Pagtinignan natin wala pa rin rehiyon nakakaabot ng at least 50% coverage dito sa ginagawa nating PinasLakas campaign. Although the NCR (National Capital Region) have already reached, sila pinakamataas 47%,” she added.

(Looking at it, there is still no region that reaches at least 50% coverage here under our PinasLakas campaign. Although the NCR has already reached 47%, they are the highest among regions.)

She said they will have a meeting with the local government units (LGUs) to gather information and ask for help with the campaign.

“We are planning for a special week of vaccination drive para sa buong Pilipinas this coming end of the month for September, inaayos lang po natin ang mga detalye (we are fixing the details),” Vergeire said.

“Pero yan po ang isa sa mga hakbang natin para mas maipalawig pa natin ang pagbabakuna natin sa iba’t ibang rehiyon ng ating bansa so hopefully hindi man natin maabot ang target makakalahati man lang tayo para dito para tayo ay makapagtaas ng wall of immunity dito sa ating bansa,” she added.

(That is one of our steps so that we can further extend our vaccination to different regions of our country, so hopefully even if we don't reach the target, we can at least reach half of it so that we can raise a wall of immunity here in our country.)

To date, the DOH said more than 19,279 “PinasLakas” vaccination sites have been launched all over the country, which include areas such as markets, schools, workplaces, terminals, places of worship, and mobile vaccination sites among others where free, safe, and effective vaccines are made available.

Vaccination updates

In a separate forum report, the DOH said at least 72.5 million Filipinos have been fully-vaccinated against COVID-19 as of August 30.

Meanwhile, almost 6.8 million senior citizens are already inoculated, while 9.9 million adolescents and 4.7 million children were fully vaccinated.

The Health Department said at least 18 million individuals have received their first booster dose and more than 2.2 million have received their second booster shots. — RSJ, GMA News