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Gov't to change strategies to ramp up COVID-19 booster administration, elderly vaccination

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Gov't to change strategies to ramp up COVID-19 booster administration, elderly vaccination
A medical worker prepares the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 at a gym in San Juan City, suburban Manila on February 7, 2022.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — The government will implement adjustments in its vaccination program against COVID-19 to accelerate the administration of booster shots and the inoculation of senior citizens, a Department of Health official said Monday.

DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, who heads the National Vaccination Operations Center, said some 3.44 million individuals were immunized during the third round of the national vaccination days, failing to meet the target of inoculating five million people.

“We will change strategies. We will improve some of our advocacies because some people are difficult to convince to get vaccinated even if there’s a decline in vaccine hesitancy,” Cabotaje told state broadcaster People’s Television in Filipino.

She said that around three million people were due to receive boosters during the government’s massive vaccination activity this month, but some individuals do not realize the “urgency” to get an additional layer of protection against the virus.

To address this, the government will bring inoculation sites closer to people and adjust the vaccination drive “by area and by sector” to accommodate workers, the health official said.

Senior citizens

Cabotaje reported that 2.4 million senior citizens remain unvaccinated against the respiratory illness.

“It’s not because of vaccine hesitancy. Some refuse to get vaccinated because they say they will die anyway. They do not understand that if they get sick, their family members will also be affected,” she said.

Making the vaccination process simpler could encourage old people to get inoculated, she said.

Cabotaje also said that authorities are studying ways to increase immunization coverage among Muslims.

“We’ve been talking with the imams, minister of health, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao officials, local chief executives. We help one another. Let’s find ways to ramp up vaccination in Muslim areas,” she said.

Since March 2021, over 62 million Filipinos have completed vaccination against COVID-19.

COVID-19 VACCINES

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: May 18, 2022 - 3:39pm

A new thread on the Philippines' vaccination program in 2021 in the government's revised objective to reach "population protection." Bookmark our COVID-19 and Vaccination Dashboard for the latest figures on the pandemic in the Philippines. — Main image: The STAR/Michael Varcas, file

May 18, 2022 - 3:39pm

Senior citizens and frontline health workers may now get their second booster shots, particularly mRNA jabs such as Moderna and Pfizer, the Department of Health announces. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

February 11, 2022 - 5:55pm

The Department of Health – 9 (DOH) reported a very low turnout for the third phase of the National Vaccination Day against COVID-19 in the Zamboanga Peninsula region.

Angeline Jaldon, DOH-9 information officer, said based on the report of the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU), only 16,976 or 10% of their target 169,764 eligible individuals showed up.

Jaldon said the low turnout was attributed to complacency and lack of interest to get inoculated.

The DOH regional office is looking into what strategies local government units used to convince constitutents to get vaccinated.

The low turnout may also have kept Zamboanga Peninsula among the areas in Mindanao at high risk from COVID-19. —The STAR/Roel Pareño

February 11, 2022 - 5:05pm

The Department of Health – 9 (DOH) reported a very low turnout for the third phase of the National Vaccination Day against COVID-19 in the Zamboanga Peninsula region.

Angeline Jaldon, DOH-9 information officer, said based on the report of the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU), only 16,976 or 10% of their target 169,764 eligible individuals showed up.

Jaldon said the low turnout was attributed to complacency and lack of interest to get inoculated.

The DOH regional office is looking into what strategies local government units used to convince constitutents to get vaccinated.

The low turnout may also have kept Zamboanga Peninsula among the areas in Mindanao at high risk from COVID-19. —The STAR/Roel Pareño

January 31, 2022 - 2:46pm

The Philippines will roll out its vaccination program for children aged 5 to 11 years old on February 4.

The pandemic task force says Pfizer vaccines exclusive for kids will arrive this week.
 

January 14, 2022 - 10:14am

The percentage of the population with full vaccination has reached almost 50% at 53 million, says National Task Force adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa.

In an interview with dzBB, Herbosa suggests that five million more have yet to receive their second vaccine dose.

"Around 58 million have received at least the first dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 and 4.7 million have been jabbed with a booster," he says in Filipino.

View the COVID-19 and Vaccination Dashboard for the latest figures on the pandemic in the Philippines.

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