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VP Robredo joins calls for increased vaccine supply outside of Metro Manila

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VP Robredo joins calls for increased vaccine supply outside of Metro Manila
This Dec. 2, 2019 photo shows Vice President Leni Robredo.
OVP / Jay Ganzon

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo echoed calls on Sunday for the national government to deploy more coronavirus vaccines outside of Metro Manila. 

As it currently stands, nine economic centers dubbed as “focus areas” are set to receive 42% of the incoming vaccine supply, the Palace disclosed earlier this week.

Speaking on her weekly radio show, the country’s No. 2 pointed to high infection rates all over the country in areas beyond the so-called NCR+ bubble.  

“Our request right now, is not just at Metro Manila, but also for areas of concern all over the Philippines to be given support,” she said in mixed English and Filipino. 

Earlier this week, the League of Cities of the Philippines appealed for the government’s coronavirus task force to include more areas in the priority recipients of COVID vaccines following the recent surge of infections in other high-risk cities.

"We deem that the preemptive action of distributing vaccines to a broader number of cities will prevent a potential new wave of case surges throughout the Philippines," Bacolod City Mayor Bing Leonardia and Calapan City Mayor Arnan Panaligan said in the letter addressed to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.

READ: ICUs in Iloilo City, Koronadal, Bacoor hit full capacity — OCTA

Robredo pointed to the slow progress of the national vaccination program outside of Metro Manila as one factor that could be solved with better vaccine allocation. 

“That’s really the problem. For example, here in NCR, they’re already vaccinating the A5 group, but in the provinces, they’re not even done with the A2,” she said. 

“We’re getting so many requests already. Our problem is we can only do so much, because we have to work within the protocols of the [Inter-Agency Task Force] and the local government units too.” 

According to the OCTA Research Group, cases outside the capital region, particularly in the noted areas of concern, remained on the rise this past week. 

In its latest report on Sunday, the think tank said that three cities have hit full capacity in their intensive care units for COVID-19 patients. 

To date, the Philippines has recorded 1.36 million coronavirus infections, over 57,000 of whom are still classified as active cases. 

READ: Gov't should aim high instead of lowering 'realistic' year-end vaccination target — Robredo

— Franco Luna with reports from Christian Deiparine 

 

COVID-19 VACCINATION

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS

VICE PRESIDENT LENI ROBREDO

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 4, 2022 - 9:06am

The national government has so far secured two official deals for COVID-19 vaccine supplies in the Philippines, one with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac and another with the Serum Institute of India.

Watch this space for bite-sized developments on the vaccines in the Philippines. (Main image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

January 4, 2022 - 9:06am

Government must increase vaccination capacity across the Philippines in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant of the corona virus, Sen. Risa Hontiveros says.

She says local government units and the private sector can work together to put up more vaccination centers and deploy more vaccination teams to get more people inoculated against COVID-19.

"The active COVID cases have nearly doubled in three days. The positivity rate is almost four times the ceiling set by the World Health Organization. Huwag na nating hintayin na sobrang lumala pa ang sitwasyon bago tayo gumawa ng paraan para mapabilis ang ating pagbabakuna."

December 23, 2021 - 11:44am

FDA chief Eric Domingo says that its agency has given emergency approval for the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

November 11, 2021 - 7:30am

The United States immunized around 900,000 children aged five-to-11 against Covid in the first week the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for them, a White House official says Wednesday.

Roughly 700,000 more have made appointments at pharmacies, White House Covid coordinator Jeff Zients tells reporters.

"The program is just getting up to full strength," he says, adding most of the shots were given in the last couple of days alone. — AFP

November 8, 2021 - 7:56pm

The Philippines has received 2.8 million doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines from Russia.

The shipment arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Monday night and was met by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

November 7, 2021 - 11:57am

A Department of the Interior and Local Government proposal to require Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries to get vaccinated before cash transfers to them can be released will not help the poor, Sen. Risa Hontiveros says.

"Walang kundisyon sa 4Ps law na kailangang COVID-19 vaccinated ang recipients kaya dapat igalang at irespeto ng ating mga opisyal ang desisyon ng sinuman ukol sa pagbabakuna," she says. 

(The 4Ps Law does not include the condition that recipients must be vaccinated against COVID-19 so the government must respect people's decision to get vaccinated or not)

She says it would be better for government agencues like the social welfare and health departments to encourage 4Ps beneficiaries to get vaccinated but not as a condition to receive cash aid.

Hontiveros says encouragement and explanations have helped address vaccine hesitancy in Metro Manila.

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