(UPDATED) The number of individuals who have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the Philippines breached 10 million on Wednesday, August 4, 2021.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said this milestone was marked with a ceremonial vaccination led by Department of Health (DOH) Francisco Duque III at SM Megamall on Thursday, August 5.
Secretary Vince Dizon, deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19, said during the Malacañang press briefing that fully vaccinated individuals reached 10,282,152 on August 4.
A total of 22,488,705 doses have been administered to 12,206,553 individuals since inoculations started on March 1, 2021.
Dizon said daily inoculations exceeded the government target of 500,000 on July 28 and reached a high of 702,013 on August 3.
The fully vaccinated individuals comprise around 13 percent of the government’s vaccination target of 77.7 million and around 9.3 percent of the Philippine population estimated at 109 million.
During the House of Representatives committee on health hearing, DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said the total doses administered in the recent seven days from July 28 to August 3 exceeded 3.7 million with the daily average computed at 529,911.
She said inoculations increased as more vaccines arrived. From only 777,908 doses in the first month of implementation of the vaccination program, the number of inoculations soared to more than 9.9 million in the month of July.
The Philippines has received 37,275,800 doses of vaccines, of which 15,836,260 were donated and 21,439,540 were procured by the national government, private sector and local government units (LGUs).
Dizon stressed during Roque's press briefing Thursday that vaccines work in preventing severe Covid-19.
He said that of the 108 Covid-19 patients at the University of the Philippines Philippine General Hospital, 86 percent are unvaccinated while 14 percent have received at least one dose. The unvaccinated are severely ill or in critical condition while those partially or fully vaccinated have mild to moderate symptoms.
He said the San Juan City Government reported a similar proportion of 86 to 87 percent unvaccinated among its Covid-19 patients.
The vaccines being administered in the country are the inactivated Sinovac vaccine, viral vector vaccines from AstraZeneca, Janssen and Gamaleya, and mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.
Only the Janssen vaccine is given in a single dose. The rest are administered in two doses, with intervals ranging from 28 days to 12 weeks. All vaccines have been issued an emergency use authorization in the Philippines by the Food and Drug Administration.
The government is inoculating priority groups A1 (healthcare workers, mayors, governors), A2 (senior citizens), A3 (persons with underlying medical conditions), A4 (workers who must go out to work) and A5 (indigent). (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)