PH rolls out 3-day nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive

Robie de Guzman   •   November 29, 2021   •   209

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government rolled out on Monday its massive three-day vaccination drive in a bid to inoculate more Filipinos against novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said all local government units (LGU) are fully prepared for this undertaking, which will cover the general population.

The National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said that a total of 11,000 vaccination sites and 160,000 volunteers are expected to be activated and mobilized for the nationwide campaign.

But instead of the 15 million initial target, the government adjusted its target vaccination output to 9 million across 16 regions outside of Metro Manila for the three-day vaccination drive.

The National Vaccination Operations Center earlier said this is due to logistical challenges they encountered, such as the delayed arrival of ancillary supplies, particularly medical syringes that were ordered by the government.

The NTF said the three-day vaccination drive from November 29 to December 1 will only be the first leg of the program, which is focused on scaling up the inoculation rate of local government units for the first vaccine dose by covering up to 70% of their target populations.

The second leg of the vaccination event will be held from December 15 to 17, which will focus on ramping up the number of fully vaccinated individuals to achieve the government’s target of fully vaccinating at least 54 million Filipinos by year-end.

“Kailangan talagang buuin ‘yung 2nd wave ng vaccination days dahil kapag tumaas ang ating vaccination, we need to follow up ‘yung ating second dosing,” said Galvez, who also serves as NTF chief implementer.

The government is also eyeing to open the booster shots for the A4 (essential workers) category by December 10 or during the second leg of the National Vaccination Days, as long as the inoculation interval is met between their second dose and the booster shot.

“More or less 61 million doses naman ang ating stockpile. So ibig sabihin, we have more than enough vaccines for the booster shots, without losing our focus for our A1, A2 and A3 categories,” he said.

For the private sector, Galvez said they are still awaiting the amendments of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expand the coverage before administering booster doses to employees who do not belong to A1, A2 or A3 priority groups.

As of November 27, the Philippines has administered a total of 81,017,994 vaccine doses nationwide. Of this number, 45,286,049 have been administered as first doses, while 35,557,409 Filipinos are now fully vaccinated.

Galvez expressed confidence that the milestones achieved so far in the implementation of the national vaccination program will be sustained until next year, given the bigger vaccine shipments that have arrived and are now in the government’s supply inventory ready for deployment.

A total of 142,153,340 doses of various COVID-19 vaccine brands have been delivered in the country since February.

PUV drivers, pasahero na lalabag sa ‘no vax, no ride’ policy, posibleng maharap sa parusa – DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Posibleng patawan ng parusa ang mga lalabag sa ipinatutupad na “no vaccination, no ride” policy sa mga pampublikong sasakyan sa Metro Manila sa gitna ng mataas na kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa.

Ayon sa Department of Transportation (DOTr), ang mga tsuper ng public utility vehicles (PUV) na magpapasakay ng hindi bakunadong pasahero ay titikitan at pagmumultahin na ng mga otoridad simula ngayong Martes.

Batay sa alintuntunin ng Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), pagmumultahin ng P5,000 ang mga unang beses na lalabag sa polisiya, P10,000 at impounding ng sasakyan sa ikalawang paglabag, at P15,000 at suspensyon o kanselasyon ng prangkisa sa ikatlo o higit pang paglabag.

Bagaman hindi sakop ng DOTR ang pagpapataw ng parusa sa mga pasaherong hindi otorisadong bumiyahe, maaari pa ring pagmultahin ang mga ito batay sa nakasaad sa mga ordinansa na ipinasa ng local government unit (LGU) sa Metro Manila.

Maaari ding makasuhan ang mga pasaherong hindi susunod sa polisiya sa ilalim ng Republic Act 11332 o ang batas sa Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases And Health Events of Public Health Concern.

Kung mahuhulihan ng pekeng vaccination card ang pasahero ay may parusa itong pagkakakulong at nasa P1 milyong multa.

Ayon sa DOTr, naging mapayapa sa kabuuan ang unang araw ng pagpapatupad ng polisiya.

May naitala namang mahigit sa 1,700 na pasahero ng tren ang sumubok na sumakay kahit walang maipakitang vaccionation card noong Lunes.

Hindi saklaw ng “no vaccination, no ride” policy ang mga indibidwal na hindi maaaring bakunahan dahil sa medikal na kondisyon pati na ang mga lumabas lang para sa essential goods at services.

Ang mga pasaherong kasama sa exemptions ay pinapayuhang magdala ng dokumento gaya ng medical certificate o clearance mula sa barangay. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

DILG warns public, says no such thing as ‘COVID vaccination exemption cards’

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2022

Image from DILG

The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Tuesday said that there is no such thing as “COVID-19 vaccination exemption cards.”

“The public is warned that there is no such thing as a ‘vaccination exemption card.’ This is not authorized, issued, nor recognized by the government. In other words, these are fake,” DILG Spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

Malaya said they have received reports that this card supposedly originated from Facebook groups and group chats in Davao Region and Soccsksargen that can allegedly be registered to local government units (LGUs).

The cards are also supposedly recognized by local authorities in lieu of COVID-19 vaccination cards.

According to reports, people are being asked to put their name, birthdate, address, and signatures on the green vaccination exemption card being shared in FB groups and group chats, have the cards printed, laminated, and registered to their barangay/city/municipal LGUs.

“The so-called exemption cards look similar to the green COVID-19 Vaccination Cards being issued by several LGUs,” Malaya said.

“Sa biglang tingin aakalain itong tunay dahil pareho ng kulay, format at hitsura,” he added.

Malaya said the government will never issue nor recognize such cards because this runs counter to the government’s national vaccination program to inoculate the majority of the populace to achieve population protection.

He also called on local authorities to be more vigilant in their inspection of vaccination cards at provincial and regional borders amid restrictions being implemented for unvaccinated people.

PH gov’t to tap drug stores as COVID-19 vaccine booster sites

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is looking to tap drug stores to serve as COVID-19 vaccine booster sites in a bid to ramp up the administration of booster jabs in the country.

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s meeting with some of his officials on Monday, Presidential Adviser for COVID-19 response Vince Dizon said the government will seek the help of pharmacies in the country following reports that some vaccination staff have also contracted the virus.

Dizon said the program, which would be dubbed “Resbakuna sa mga botika,” will be launched this week in the first seven pharmacies in Metro Manila.

The pilot run is set for January 20 to 21 in sites including Mercury Drug, Watsons, Rose Pharmacy, Southstar Drug, and the Generics Pharmacy, as well as Healthway and QualiMed.

After the weeklong run, it would then be expanded to other drugstores across the country, he added.

“We will start with 7 pharmacies in Metro Manila which we will launch on Thursday, January 20 and on Friday, January 21,” Dizon said.

“Mabilis po ito Mr. President, pagka-launch po natin, magpi-pilot po sila ng isang linggo, mag-eexpand na po tayo nang mabilis sa iba’t iba pang cities all over the country- Luzon, Visayas, at Mindanao- at sa iba’t ibang mga botika,” he added.

The program aims to assist local government units and the Department of Health with additional personnel for vaccination. It will also help decentralize the inoculation by having smaller but widely spread vaccination sites in the form of drugstores.

 

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