Gov’t to fully vaccinate half of Metro Manila population by end of ECQ

Published August 5, 2021, 11:13 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

At least half of the population of Metro Manila could be fully vaccinated after the two-week strict lockdown in the capital region, Malacañang said Thursday.

President Rodrigo Duterte welcomes the arrival of more than 3 million doses donated by the United States in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City on August 3, 2021. Accompanying the President is US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law. (Malacañang)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque explained the government intends to accelerate the vaccination program in the National Capital Region (NCR) even as movement restrictions will be imposed from August 6 to 20, 2021.

Coming from a weeklong stricter general community quarantine (GCQ), Metro Manila will revert to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for two weeks to quell the spike in coronavirus cases driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant. ECQ is the most restrictive of four quarantine classifications implemented by the government to slow down the coronavirus spread. The vaccination efforts however will be exempted from the ban on large gatherings during the ECQ in Metro Manila.

“Binigyan po ng national government ang Metro Manila ng 4 million additional jabs para gamitin during ECQ (The national government has given Metro Manila 4 million additional jabs to administer during the ECQ),” Roque said during a government event marking the milestone of 10 million fully vaccinated Filipinos at SM Megamall Thursday, August 5.

“Kapag nangyari po ito, malapit na tayo dumating sa punto na ang buong Metro Manila will achieve 50 percent fully-vaccinated population, siguro po pagkatapos na pagkatapos ng ECQ. Palakpakan po natin ang Metro Manila (When this happens, we are close to reaching the point where the entire Metro Manila will achieve 50 percent fully-vaccinated population maybe by the end of the ECQ. Let’s give a round of applause to Metro Manila),” he added.

Of the 28 million population of the capital region, Metro Manila Development Authority chair Benjamin Abalos earlier said around 8.6 million people have been vaccinated. With the arrival of the additional 4 million jabs, Abalos said the vaccination rate will jump to 12.6 million, or half of Metro Manila’s populace.

Roque said it was important to continue the vaccination drive to ensure people can safely go to work and eventually return to normal lives. He expressed gratitude to the local government units and the private sector for their assistance in carrying out the COVID-19 vaccination program.

More than 10 million persons have so far been fully vaccinated since the government started the inoculation campaign last March. The government’s target is to inoculate 50 to 70 million adult Filipinos to reach herd immunity before the end of the year or early 2022.