MANILA, Philippines – More than 7.6 million individuals were vaccinated against COVID-19 during the three-day nationwide immunization drive, the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) said Thursday.
NVOC chairperson and Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said data submitted by local government units showed that 2.7 million people were vaccinated on the first day, 2.4 million on the second day, and another 2.4 million on the third day.
She, however, noted that these are just initial figures as reports are still being updated.
“We are very happy with the initial report kasi this is more than two times the daily vaccination rates,” Cabotaje said at a public briefing.
The top-performing regions were Calabarzon, Central Luzon, and Central Visayas.
Five regions, meanwhile, exceeded their vaccination targets, namely Ilocos Region, National Capital Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, MIMAROPA, and Cagayan Valley.
Authorities aimed to inoculate at least 9 million individuals during the three-day vaccination drive from November 29 to December 1.
Cabotaje said some areas have reported low output as some residents refused to get vaccinated while others have expressed vaccine preferences.
“Yes, there were isolated reports on this. We need to convince them but we cannot also force them to get the available vaccine. Yung iba bumabalik na lang but anyway, marami pa naman tayong araw na puwede silang bumalik for their preferred vaccine but we would like to relay to everyone na kung anong bakuna dyan this will offer the same protection,” she said.
“Ang ating challenges was really the opportunity to extend our hours of vaccination and allow walk-ins,” she added.
The vaccination drive has been extended until Friday upon the request of local government units.
Cabotaje said the government also decided to extend the immunization to sustain the public’s enthusiasm to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We should strive very hard, kasI mayroong mga 21 million pa ring hindi nababakunahan all over the Philippines,” she said. (with details from Correspondent Janice Ingente)