MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte emphasized the need to ramp up the vaccination rate in various local government units (LGUs) to meet the country's target to fully vaccinate at least 50 million Filipinos to achieve population protection by December this year.
"We cannot reach this target if we will plateau at 400 or 500 [thousand] daily jabs," Duterte said in his regular Talk to the People aired on Monday night.
Duterte said a non-stop vaccination program at the local levels can greatly contribute to expediting the Covid-19 vaccination program nationwide.
He said the vaccination program should also scale up even in the far-flung communities.
"At 'yung mga bakuna na nasa umabot na doon sa pinakamalayong lugar (The vaccines may reach those farthest areas) and the provincial, city and municipal health officials will take over," Duterte said. "Ang concern ko lang naman (my only concern) is that--they will be able to preserve the integrity of the vaccines."
The vaccines, which will be deployed in these far-flung areas, must not expire and be free from contamination, he said.
Duterte called on the LGUs to scale up their respective vaccination program.
"I urged LGUs to come up with a more systematic and efficient way of finding out of who among your constituents have not yet been vaccinated. Please do everything to convince them to get vaccinated," he said, as he noted a stable vaccine supply in the country.
Duterte also commended the successful pilot run of the pediatric vaccination.
He also mentioned the students in the medical fields could be a help in ramping vaccination.
"I've heard somewhere that itong mga (these) nursing students, mga (those) seniors, I think--they will be mobilized para magtulong sa pagbabakuna (to help in vaccination)," he said.
The Philippines has received a total of 97,678,340 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, as of October 24.
Of the total vaccines, 55,715,693 doses were already administered, with 30,003,713 given as first doses and 25,711,980 as second doses, including the single-dose Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine. (PNA)