Philippines eyes more vaccinators, jab hubs as vaccine drive expands

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Philippines eyes more vaccinators, jab hubs as vaccine drive expands
A health worker inoculates a resident with a dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine inside a Catholic church turned into a vaccination centre in Manila on May 21, 2021.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is eyeing to hire additional vaccinators and open more inoculation sites as it expands its COVID-19 vaccination drive, the Department of Health said Wednesday.

“If we look at our vaccination rollout right now, we are going to add additional sectors of the population to be vaccinated. That would be about 12.7 million children,” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.

The Philippines is set to start the nationwide vaccination of minors aged 12 to 17.

Vergeire said more vaccinators are also needed in preparation for the administration of booster shots to medical workers, senior citizens and those with health risks.

“That will be an additional almost 10 million individuals so we are looking at adding more vaccinators, expanding hours of vaccination, and expanding the vaccination sites,” she said.

In a briefing, Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, who leads the national vaccination operations center, said registered dentists can help administer COVID-19 vaccines in the country.

“They can be vaccinators as long as they have training,” she said in Filipino.

Officials have been saying the country is no longer dealing with vaccine supply issues.

“We’re not saying that we can be able to finish all of these sectors overnight. It’s going to be done in phases and we are looking at a spillover until January or February of next year,” Vergeire said.

Since March, 26.1 million Filipinos have completed the recommended doses, while 30.6 million have received partial protection. The government aims to vaccinate 77 million people this year.


As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 12, 2021 - 11:01am

A new thread on the Philippines' vaccination program in 2021 in the government's revised objective to reach "population protection." (Main image: The STAR/Michael Varcas, file)

November 12, 2021 - 11:01am

Starting December 1, the vaccination of employees required to work on-site will be mandatory in the public and private sector in areas with sufficient COVID-19 jabs supply.

"However, eligible employees who remain to be unvaccinated may not be terminated but they shall be required to undergo regular RT-PCR testing, or antigen tests, at their own expense," Malacañang says.

November 3, 2021 - 10:11am

The Philippine government is targeting to administer at least 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of November, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. says.

The government aims to achieve 1 million to 1.5 million jabs per day starting November 20.

To achieve this, Galvez says about 4,000 to 5,000 vaccination sites would be activated, including malls, universities, schools, gyms, camps and function halls of different government agencies.

October 27, 2021 - 10:56am

The Philippine government will start the full rollout of COVID-19 vaccination among minors aged 12 to 17 on November 5.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire says the guidelines are being drafted.

October 25, 2021 - 9:02am

The Health Technology Assessment Council of the Department of Health recommends the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for healthcare workers by fourth quarter of this year.

The council also recommends rolling out booster shots among eligible priority groups by next year.

HTAC says the recommendations are offered "in consideration of sufficient vaccine supply and acceptable coverage for primary vaccination."

October 8, 2021 - 10:00am

Another 2.1 million doses of Moderna and more than 661,100 doses of Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccines arrive at NAIA Terminal 1 on Friday morning.

The Moderna vaccines are procured by the government while the Astrazeneca jabs were bought by the private sector.

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