Round 2 of mass vaccination deferred in 11 regions

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Round 2 of mass vaccination deferred in 11 regions
A medical worker prepares a BioNtech-Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine inside a mall in Manila City, on November 29, 2021, as the Southeast Asian nation launched a three-day vaccination drive targeting nine million people as young as 12 in an effort to accelerate the roll-out of jabs, amidst the threat of heavily mutated coronavirus variant Omicron.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — The government has deferred the second round of Bayanihan Bakunahan in 11 regions due to the approaching tropical storm Odette, Malacañang announced yesterday.

Acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said the second phase of the national vaccination days in MIMAROPA and Bicol regions in Luzon, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao region, SOCCSKSARGEN, CARAGA and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao would be moved to Dec. 20 to 22.

However, the mass inoculation in Metro Manila, Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and CALABARZON will push through today until Dec. 17.

“The target remains the same, the seven million target for our Bayanihan Bakanuhan. But because of this tropical depression that we are monitoring, we decided to postpone the vaccination in the regions and provinces to be affected,” Nograles said at a press briefing yesterday.

President Duterte approved the recommendation to postpone the second round of mass vaccinations in eleven regions last Monday.

Tropical storm Odette was estimated to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) last night, hitting Central Visayas and parts of northern Mindanao.

DOH Region 9 advised the local government units (LGUs) in Zamboanga peninsula that they may continue the regular vaccination activity if weather conditions in their locality would allow but should take the utmost consideration of the safety of the health workers and the vaccinees.

The DOH-9 aims to inoculate 250,750 eligible individuals with a rate of 83,585 per day during the three-day Bayanihan Bakunan II.

As this developed, the DOH reminded the public to obtain their booster doses as soon as they become eligible, noting the expected increase in exposure from face-to-face work and social gatherings, as well as the threat of the new variant.

DOH Epidemiology director Dr. Alethea de Guzman said the vaccines remain effective even against the new variant of COVID. And even if the efficacy of the vaccine may decline due to the emergence of the new variant, it is still better than no protection at all.

President Duterte on Monday night castigated those who continue to refuse to get immunized against the virus, saying they are stressing him out.

“And at this time, we will say that we will be celebrating Christmas in the coming days. Stay safe and to those who have yet to get their vaccines, I’ll get killed by you. Shall I die or shall I kill you? Get vaccinated for the sake of our people,” Duterte said in Filipino in a pre-recorded address. – Mayen Jaymalin, Roel Pareño, Helen Flores, Rudy Santos


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