The government was able to administer 2.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, the first day of the three-day national vaccination drive, a Department of Health (DOH) official said Tuesday.
According to DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, a total of 2,554,023 doses were given or 2.5 times higher than the country’s daily average of administered doses.
“This figure (of 2.5 million doses) is top five worldwide, next to China, 22 million; India, 10 million; United States, 3.48 million; and Brazil, 2.6 million,” Cabotaje said during the Laging Handa briefing.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said on Super Radyo dzBB that the figure could get higher as local government units submit their reports.
The government aims to vaccinate some 9 million Filipinos in its three-day vaccination drive dubbed Bayanihan, Bakunahan National COVID-19 Vaccination Days from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, 2021.
Año expressed confidence that the three-million daily jabs would be reached.
“Umaasa tayo na maaabot natin yan, kung hindi man siguro konting konti na lang [We are confident that we can reach that target, if not the difference would only just be minimal],” he said.
For Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, Año said efforts will be intensified further to vaccinate more and more Filipinos against COVID-19.
“Ang gagawin natin, itong araw na ito at bukas, mas lalo pa nating paigtingin para ma-hit natin yung targets natin [For today and tomorrow, we will further intensify our efforts to be able to hit our targets],” he said.
A second round, Año said, is also being planned from Dec. 15 to 17.
Among the challenges faced during the first day of the three-day drive was the failure of some LGUs to accommodate the large number of people who went to vaccination sites.
Año said adjustments would be made. “Sisiguraduhin natin na kung may dadagsa sa isang lugar ay madali nating malipat sa karatig na vaccination site [We’ll make sure that those who can’t be accommodated in our site would be tranferred to a nearby vaccination site].”
The Department of the Interior and Local Government secretary also said LGUs should be ready to accommodate walk-ins or those who go to vaccination sites without registration.
“Dapat meron tayong maga-assist dun at in manual na lang yung pag-rehistro para hindi masayang ang punta ng kababayan natin [There should be someone to assist them for manual registration so that the efforts of the citizen would not be wasted,” Año said.
Cabotaje echoed the statement. “Walk-ins should be vaccinated. The President’s directive is to allow walk-ins, and people who lined up to get vaccinated should not be allowed to go home without getting their vaccine,” she said.
For the three-day nationwide vaccination drive, around 8,000 vaccination sites have been activated while 20,000 volunteers, including those from the uniformed service, have been tapped, according to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday.
The vaccination drive covers the general population, minors aged 12-17 years old, and booster shots for healthcare workers, senior citizens, and immunocompromised.
The private sector also provided about 407 malls, institutions, gyms, and fast food chains to be used as vaccination sites. —KBK, GMA News
This article 2.5M doses administered on first day of nat’l vax drive vs. COVID-19 —DOH was originally published in GMA News Online.Internet Explorer Channel Network