President Duterte has asked parents to be patient as they await the turn of their children aged between 12 and 17 to get vaccinated from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The program to vaccinate the pediatric population in accordance to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of Health (DOH) is intended to reach far-flung areas eventually, he said.
“Pero aabot rin ito sa inyo (This will reach you) in due time. It’s just a matter maybe of days nandiyan na ‘yung bakuna. Pag-transport lang (the vaccine is there already. The transportation alone) and to gather the human resource there in the sitios where we intend to conduct the vaccination,” he said in his taped public address aired late Monday night, Oct. 25.
Duterte promised this as more hospitals in various local government units (LGUs) and the National Capital Region (NCR) prepare to join the government’s pediatric vaccination program.
The country launched the second phase of its pediatric vaccination last Friday, Oct. 22, after its “successful” pilot a week ago.
The Health department said that 9,928 minors have already been vaccinated in 26 hospitals. The target is to inoculate 144,000 minors in the two-phase pediatric vaccination pilot in Metro Manila with priority to those with comorbidities.
The President said that had there been more cooperation between mayors and barangay captains, there will be less problems in the country’s vaccination program.
“But you know you have to impose your authority, not impose your will. Anything that you do, anything that we do here, this is not for—hindi naman ito atin (this is not for us). But you know, you have to sabihin mo na sunod ka nito kasi ito utos ng gobyerno (follow this because this is government mandated),” Duterte said.
As of Oct. 24, almost 10,000 pediatric vaccinations in 26 hospitals have been recorded according to DOH. Around 144,000 minors are targeted for inoculation under the two-phase pediatric vaccination pilot in Metro Manila with priority to those with comorbidities.
The Chief Executive said that the country has so far administered 55.7 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Around 30 million of these were given as the first dose, while 25 million were administered as a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen.
Last Friday, Oct. 22, around 724,000 were vaccinated nationwide, but Duterte said the task force is targeting to vaccinate one million to 1.5 million people daily for the next days and weeks.
He admitted, however, that a snag in the plan is the number of vaccinators needed in the vaccination sites.
“I’ve read or heard somewhere that itong mga (these) nursing students na (who are) senior, I think they are being—they will be mobilized to… Para magtulong sa bakuna. Puwede ito mga ano man ito, mga (To help in the vaccination. They can, these) senior, but still students, I think,” Duterte said.