The country’s national vaccination program has reached new milestones with over 21 million Filipinos now fully vaccinated, while the National Capital Region (NCR) has already reached 75 percent completed vaccination of its target population, according to Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr.
As of the October 3, 2021 data from the National COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard, the total vaccines administered is now at 46,380,040 doses, of which 21,800,974 are fully vaccinated. For Metro Manila, a total of 16,142,216 vaccine doses have been administered, of which 7,408,813 or 75.7 percent are now fully vaccinated.
“Kung inyong matatandaan, para maabot ang herd immunity, o tinatawag nating population protection, kinakailangan umabot ang mga nabakunahan sa 70 percent to 80 percent ng populasyon, said Secretary Roque Jr in a press briefing following the “Sa Bakuna Panalo Ka!” event in SM City Clark, Angeles City, Pampanga on October 4, 2021.
The Palace spokesperson explained that giving priority to the NCR for vaccination is actually based on science. Secretary Roque said achieving population protection in the NCR through vaccination will starve the virus and will give protection to neighboring provinces as the virus will no longer spread outside Metro Manila.
“Kapag meron na po tayong population protection, magbabalik tayo sa old normal … ibig sabihin magbabalik-buhay po ang lahat, magkakaroon ng mas maraming industriyang magbubukas, mas marami pong hanap-buhay para sa sambayanang Pilipino,” Secretary Roque said.
Roque also mentioned that more vaccines have arrived in the country, including three shipments of Pfizer vaccines that were donated by the United States of America through the COVAX Facility. This includes the delivery of 883,350 doses on October 1, followed by 889,200 doses on Oct 2, and 1,813,500 doses on October 3. Roque added that 2.5 million doses of Sinovac vaccines were also delivered on October 1.
In the same press briefing, National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr affirmed that the 100 million doses target of total COVID-19 vaccines delivered in the country by October is still on track. More than 10 million procured Pfizer vaccines are expected to arrive, plus 5 million Moderna vaccines, 10 million Sinovac vaccines, and the remaining 5.9 million doses of US COVAX donation, said Secretary Galvez.
Meanwhile, NTF Deputy Chief Implementer and Testing Czar Secretary Vivencio Dizon underscored that the country’s positivity rate has gone down from as high as 30 percent in mid-September to 20 percent currently. Secretary Dizon said this means that case numbers have gone down from the recent peak and hospital utilization rates have decreased as well. Dizon added that even while positivity rate and case numbers are in a downward trend, vaccination efforts will continue to be fast-tracked together with continued implementation of the prevent-detect-isolate-treat-reintegrate (PDITR) strategy and strict adherence to the minimum public health standards.
Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III also called on local government units to intensify risk-based targeted testing, active case finding, efficient contact tracing, and isolation and quarantine of identified close contacts. Secretary Duque said this is important so as to immediately test close contacts to be able to isolate and quarantine them to end the cycle of transmission and clustering of cases in communities.
On the part of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Chairperson Benjamin Abalos Jr also reiterated the importance of bringing down the reproduction rate through the PDITR strategy and with the help of granular lockdowns. Chair Abalos reported that as of October 2, 2021, there are 2,774 families, 397 households, 88 condominium units, 9 buildings, and 25 compounds that are on lockdown in the NCR.
Secretaries Galvez, Dizon, Duque, and Roque, and MMDA Chair Abalos were all on deck at the “Sa Bakuna Panalo Ka!” event in SM City Clark, along with SM Supermalls President Steven Tan, Angeles City Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr, and Mabalacat, Pampanga Mayor Crisostomo Garbo.
They were also joined by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya and Department of Information and Communications Technology Undersecretary Emmanuel Caintic for the soft launch of VaxCertPH for Regions 3 and 4-A and the MOA signing between SM malls, DOH, and DILG on the placement of booths for the VaxCertPh in select SM malls where people can go to get their vaccination certificates. ### OPS