250,000 daily vaccinations eyed in Metro Manila during ECQ

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - The Philippine Star
250,000 daily vaccinations eyed in Metro Manila during ECQ
Members of the Manila Police District assist individuals waiting in line for their second dose of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the San Andres Sports Complex in Manila on Thursday, July 29, 2021.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman, file

MANILA, Philippines — The National Capital Region (NCR) is aiming to ramp up vaccinations against COVID-19 by inoculating 250,000 individuals a day during the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period in Metro Manila beginning Aug. 6.

This was the consensus among mayors in the capital region who met last Friday night to prepare for the lockdown, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos said.

“We met last night, so we could prepare for what might happen in the coming days. This is a heavy task, we would be inoculating 250,000 a day,” Abalos said in Filipino when interviewed by dzBB yesterday morning.

The mayors had pushed for ECQ amid the threat of the more transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19.

They also requested for four million vaccines so that more residents could be inoculated during the lockdown.

Abalos said the mayors also discussed preparing monetary aid for residents adversely affected by the lockdown, border controls and the possible reimposition of a liquor ban.

Senior citizens target

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) said it is now working on fully vaccinating at least 50 percent of the country’s elderly population.

At yesterday’s public briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH acknowledges and agrees with the World Health Organization (WHO)’s observation that the vaccination rate of senior citizens in the Philippines is low and must be stepped up.

The number of senior citizens masterlisted for COVID-19 jabs is about 8.5 million. But at present, only 2.8 million of them have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines.

“The fully vaccinated seniors is around 26 percent. It is low so we are aiming for at least 50 percent of seniors for now,” Vergeire said.
Last Friday, WHO Representative to the Philippines Rabindra Abeyasinghe expressed concerns over the “sluggish” vaccination of the elderly in the country.

As its course of action, the DOH is now coordinating with local government units (LGUs) for a massive information drive to encourage the elderly to get their jabs, she said.

Also, the DOH would be scaling up the inoculation of people with comorbidities.

“The vaccines that we currently have in the country can protect you from severe disease and hospitalization,” Vergeire said. – Sheila Crisostomo

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