Shortage of vaccinators, brand preference reasons behind missed COVID inoculation target

Published December 4, 2021, 1:58 PM

by Chito Chavez

The shortage of vaccinators was the root cause of the failure of some localities to meet their respective inoculation targets of the qualified individuals during the National Vaccination Days.

This was disclosed by League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) president and Marinduque governor Presbitero Velasco Jr. as he brushed off suspicions that the reason for the failure of some local government units (LGUs) to hit the desired mark of vaccinated individuals is due to the lack of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) vaccine supply.

Aside from the vaccinator shortage, Velasco said some provinces also encountered problems with the supply of syringes and brand preference of those who want to be injected with certain COVID-19 vaccine brands.

He noted that 31 provinces have met 50 percent of their targets while 45 percent of them only achieved less than 50 percent of their goals.

On the upside, Velasco disclosed that “Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Batanes, Siquijor, at (and) Camiguin, reached or surpassed 100 percent of their target number of individuals to be vaccinated during the ‘Bayanihan, Bakunahan.”

“Sa ibang probinsya po ay ganoon (brand preference) pero sa tingin ko po sa karamihan po ng probinsya ay hindi na masyado namimili nung ating mga kababayan. Karamihan po gusto na magpabakuna lalo na yung mga 12 to 17 years old. Alam na po nila na makakalabas na sila ng bahay at makakapunta kung saan saang lugar (In some provinces that is the case but I think most of the people in the provinces are not choosy anymore. Most want to get the jab especially those in the 12 to 17 year old age bracket. They are aware that they can now go outside their residences and roam around different places),’’ Velasco said.

Velasco also cited the Alert Level System that rewards fully vaccinated persons to enter malls, groceries, restaurants, business establishments and stores enticed more individuals to get the jab.

“At yung local governments ay full support sa Bayanihan Bakunahan at pinipilit na po nila maattain itong herd immunity (And the local governments fully support the Bayanihan, Bakunahan program and they are trying their best to attain herd immunity),’’ Velasco lamented.

The LPP chief also favored the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Task Force (NTF) setting daily inoculation targets to the LGUs that focused on the need for them to expedite the process to attain herd immunity.

He disclosed that the “special Bayanihan Bakunahan’’ days emphasize the importance of the vaccination drive given the huge publicity that increases the public’s awareness about the program.

Velasco said that the LGUs have continuously conducted the vaccination drive with their daily prescribed target until Dec. 31.

From Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 vaccination drive, over 7.6 million individuals were vaccinated against COVID-19 that was way off the adjusted nine million vaccination target which initially was at 15 million.

The government aims to reach herd immunity against COVID-19 by the end of this year.

Hard pressed to achieve population protection, the National Task Force against COVID-19 and the National Vaccination Operation Center (NVOC) earlier announced that another national vaccination activity will be held from December 15 to 17. (Chito A. Chavez)