The vaccination program in the National Capital Region (NCR) will not be stopped despite the enforcement of a two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20 to prevent a Delta-driven spike of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.
Retired Major Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., spokesperson of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, bared Saturday, July 31, that the vaccination program will continue to counter the effects of the surge of a COVID-19 spike currently being experienced in the capital region.
“Hindi po natin ihihinto ang pagbabakuna at papayagan din po natin maaari ang pampublikong sakayan para maisagawa ang pagpunta ng mga kababayan sa mga vaccination centers sa kanilang LGU [local government unit] (We will not stop the vaccination program at wemay allow the operation of the public transportation so our countrymen could go to the vaccination centers in their LGU),” Padilla said at a virtual “Laging Handa” press briefing.
He vowed that “majority” of the upcoming deliveries of vaccines will be allocated to NCR to speed up the inoculation program and protect its residents the soonest time possible. Earlier, the Metro Manila mayors reportedly requested an additional four million doses from the NTF which will be used in the inoculation of its residents within the two-week ECQ.
“Hindi ko lang po alam kung ilan ang eksaktong bilang pero ipa-prioritize po natin ang mga arriving vaccines sa NCR para mapabilis ang pagpigil sa pagkalat at maprotektahan ang ating mga kababayan (I don”t know the exact number but we will prioritize [the allocation] of the arriving vaccines in NCR to hasten the stoppage of the spread and protect our citizens),” he said.
However, the guidelines as to how the LGUs should conduct the vaccination program while taking into account the safety of the public amid the threat of the more transmissible Delta variant are yet to be released by the national government.
Padilla said the guidelines will be issued “before August 6.”
“Anuman ang lumabas, ang pagbabakuna ay magpapatuloy (Whatever is issued, the vaccination will continue),” he said.
The local transmission of the Delta variant in the communities has forced the national government to bring back the strictest form of community quarantine in NCR for two weeks, beginning August 6. A total of 216 Delta cases have been reported in the country, according to the Department of Health.
This means that mass gatherings will be strictly prohibited while transportation and economic activities will be limited to prevent the spread of the virus.
So far, the national government has administered 19.3 million doses of vaccines. A total of 11.5 million Filipinos have received their first dose while 7.8 millionhave been fully vaccinated.
The government is aiming to inoculate more than 70 million Filipinos by the end of the year to achieve herd immunity.