Gov't improves vaccination of senior citizens, persons with co-morbidities — Galvez

Published August 10, 2021, 1:15 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The inoculation of senior citizens (A2) and persons with co-morbidities (A3) against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have seen significant improvements in the past weeks as more individuals under these at-risk categories have been fully vaccinated, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. disclosed Monday night, Aug. 9.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. (File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Galvez said 3,318,212 senior citizens and 4,244,272 persons with other underlying diseases were already fully vaccinated as of August 8. These represent 40.13 percent and 59.90 percent, respectively, of the national government’s eligible target populations for the two priority groups.

“Tutok po ang A2 and A3 at nagbubunga na po dahil nakikita po natin na tumataas po ang second doses natin na fully vaccinated (We are focusing on the A2 and A3 and we are seeing the results because there are more of them who are getting fully vaccinated after having the second dose),” he said at President Duterte’s public address.

Meanwhile, a total of 2,976,900 senior citizens and 4,093,867 persons with co-morbidities have received their first dose.

Updates on COVID-19 vaccination program in the Philippines as of August 8, 2021. (Screenshot from RTVM livestream)

The vaccine czar cited the improvement to the use of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine from the United States. The US donated 3,240,850 doses of J&J jab to the country through the COVAX facility last month.

“Nakikita po natin mas mataas ang fully vaccinated dahil po ‘yan sa J&J kasi kina-count po natin siya na parang double dose (We can see that the number of fully vaccinated [individuals] is higher because we count those who get the J&J as double dose),” Galvez explained.

Individuals who receive a shot of the J&J vaccine are deemed fully vaccinated since it is considered as a single-dose jab, which means a person only needs to get one shot to receive its maximum potency.

Galvez praised local government units (LGUs) for doing their part in ramping up the inoculation program amid a surge of cases due to the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

“Dati-rati, ‘yung ating difference between ‘yung first dose at saka second dose ay six million. Ngayon po, umaabot na lang po ng mahigit na isang million ang difference dahil nga nakikita po natin na ang ating mga LGUs talagang inaatupag po nila na talagang puntahan at talagang pilitin ‘yong mga iba na nagbakuna ng first dose na magkaroon ng second dose (Before, the difference between the first dose and second dose reaches six million. But now, the difference went down to more than one million because we have seen that the LGUs are really encouraging those who received their first dose to have the second dose),” he said.

In total, the national government has administered 24,479,750 doses nationwide as of August 8. More than 13 million Filipinos have received their first dose while 11.4 million others were fully vaccinated.