The government is confident that the country will hit its target of fully vaccinating 54 million Filipinos against COVID-19 by the end of the year, acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said on Wednesday, Dec. 8.
“By December 31 of 2021, we are all confident that we will surpass the (target of) 54 million fully vaccinated (persons), especially if we get the same support or even much more support for this second round of Bayanihan Bakunahan,” he said on CNN’s The Source.
The first national vaccination drive from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 inoculated more than 9.9 million Filipinos after the drive was extended in some areas. The government initially targeted to vaccinate nine million individuals.
The second round of Bayanihan Bakunahan is set on Dec. 15 to 17.
“So, sa (in the) second round, the focus is for those who need their second dose,” Nograles said, noting that the government will also create a system to allow walk-ins or those who have not registered on their municipalities’ vaccination registration sites.
Similar to the first national vaccination drive, the official stressed that employers should exempt their employees from work if they will get their vaccines.
The Palace official also hoped the private sector will still help in the second round of the program.
“We would like to thank the private sector for their all-our support sa (in the) national vaccination days,” Nograles said.
One of the government’s private sector partners is the Pitmaster Foundation Inc. under the United Association of Cockpit Owners and Operators of the Philippines (UACOOP). It will provide a P20 million donation to the government “to encourage people who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 to get vaccinated.”.
“We will turn over the said funds sa (to the) national government for the purpose na hikayatin ang mga ayaw o nagdadalawang-isip pa dyan kung magpabakuna ba o hindi (to encourage those who do not want or are having second thoughts to get vaccinated or not),” Pitmaster Foundation Executive Director and lawyer Caroline Cruz said in a statement.
“We can see the efforts of our government para mabakunahan ang lahat ng mamamayan (to vaccinate all citizens) and we want to help para mahikayat ang lahat sa pamamagitan ng cash reward nga (to encourage all through a cash reward),” she added.
Businessman Charlie “Atong” Ang, chairman of the board of Lucky 8 Corp., which owns Pitmaster Live, was the one who gave the order to allot P20 million as the company’s contribution to the government’s vaccination drive.
Cruz highlighted the importance of getting everyone vaccinated already to “control” the transmission of the virus.
Many of the government’s private partners in its vaccination drive have provided vaccination sites and volunteers, as well as helped in “communication, information dissemination, and just encouraging their workers, their employees, people within their organization to get vaccinated,” Nograles said.
“Really, really big help in pushing these more and more Filipinos to get vaccinated. So, maraming maraming salamat (thank you very much) and we hope for the same support in terms of these vaccination sites,” he added.
Private companies have the “big sites” that the country needs in its vaccination program.
“We need big sites. We need all the logistics and all the manpower requirements to make this all happen on a nationwide scale. Malaking bahagi talaga ang private sector dito (The private sector is really a big part of this),” Nograles said.
As of Dec. 6, the Philippines has administered more than 92.7 million total COVID-19 doses with 38,699,023 of those for second dose or single-dose vaccine. Some 53,492,838 were given as a first dose.