Complete 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccine on schedule, DOH urges public

Complete 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccine on schedule, DOH urges public
San Juan City residents queue for their COVID-19 shots at the Filoil Arena on May 24, 2021.
The STAR / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — Health officials on Thursday urged Filipinos to complete their COVID-19 shots on schedule, after it was revealed that half of the target for vaccinations missed their second dose. 

Dr. John Wong, an expert from the pandemic task force, said Wednesday that out of some 2.1 million who got their first dose, only a million have returned to complete the shots. 

In a statement, the Department of Health sought to explain that the said figures are from independent assessments by experts, and suggested that the real numbers may differ from that on the ground. 

“The reported missed schedules for 2nd dose are estimates and based on certain assumptions," said Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, who added that per the National Vaccinations Center, the actual numbers show 9% deferred their second dose or roughly 113,000 individuals.  

She said the most common reasons for missing out on the second dose are: getting sick, being exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual, or undergoing quarantine. 

Vergeire said the assessments from independent experts allow government to validate its data and improve in the country's inoculation efforts. 

Health Secretary Francicso Duque III, meanwhile, said those who missed out on their schedule can still be vaccinated. 

"Do not worry because you can still get your second dose," he said, partly in Filipino. "In fact, we urge you to coordinate with your local government units to reschedule your vaccination. We will only get our protection against COVID-19 from complete vaccine doses."

Inoculations in the country began in March. Three months later, DOH figures showed 5.18 million doses have been administered. 

This translates to 3.97 million Filipinos with their first dose, while 1.20 million are fully vaccinated. 



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