Sunday, August 01, 2021

Covid-19 vaccinations accelerate

MANILA. A worker is inoculated with China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine by nurse Lorna Ruanto at the Navotas Fish Port in Metro Manila on June 7, 2021. (AP)

(UPDATED) With the arrival of additional vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), inoculations accelerated in the last seven days nationwide.

As of 6 p.m. of June 13, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that vaccinations averaged 140,985 in the past week, a 25 percent increase from the previous week’s daily average of 112,621.

The number of fully vaccinated individuals increased by about 22 percent to 1,879,694 from 1,544,332 on June 6.

Awaiting their second dose are 3,189,161 individuals as first dose inoculations reached 5,068,855, around 6.7 percent of the estimated 74 million individuals eligible to get the vaccine under priority groups A1 to A5.

Nearly 7.0 million, specifically 6,948,549, doses have been administered since the vaccinations began on March 1, 2021.

The government is inoculating priority groups A1 (health workers, mayors, governors), A2 (senior citizens), A3 (persons with comorbidities) and A4 (government, private and informal sector workers who have to be physically present in their workplace as well as police and military).

Depending on the supply, some local government units (LGUs) may also administer the AstraZeneca-Oxford and Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccines from Covax to group A5, or the indigent population.

As of June 13, 1,447,426 healthcare workers and others under A1 have received at least one dose. Of this number, 968,750 have also received the second dose. Under the government's national deployment and vaccination program, the target is to inoculate 1,762,994 health workers.

Among senior citizens, 1,734,596 have received the first dose and 479,034 have also received their second dose, around 5.0 percent of the estimated 9.4 million senior citizens nationwide.

For A3 or persons with comorbidities, first dose inoculations reached 1,733,869. Of this number, 424,889 were also given as second dose, which translates to almost 3.0 percent of 14.5 million persons with comorbidities nationwide.

Vaccination of workers kicked off only on June 7 although ceremonial inoculations were also held on Labor Day on May 1, 2021. As of June 13, only 7,021 have been fully vaccinated out of the 152,964 workers, policemen and military personnel who have received their first dose. There are an estimated 35.5 million individuals under A4 nationwide.

As of June 11, the Philippines has received 12,708,210 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, consisting of 7.5 million doses of Sinovac (CoronaVac), 2.556 million doses of AstraZeneca, 2,472,210 doses of Pfizer, and 180,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V.

The government initially prioritized vaccinations in NCR Plus 8, consisting of the National Capital Region, Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga and Rizal. President Rodrigo Duterte, however, has directed vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. to also distribute the vaccines to other regions, especially those that are experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Galvez earlier said they target to achieve herd immunity first in NCR Plus 8 by inoculating 58 million eligible residents by the end of 2021. To achieve herd immunity nationwide, the government targets to inoculate up to 70 percent of the Philippine population estimated at 108 million. Inoculating all 74 million eligible citizens, or 68 percent of the country's total population, will bring the Philippines closer to achieving herd immunity against Covid-19.

In a statement, DOH repeated its appeal to eligible citizens to get the vaccine. Those who have received the first dose are encouraged to get the second dose to protect themselves from severe Covid-19, which could lead to death. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)


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