The national government further expanded the vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) of children aged five to 11 years old as it was launched nationwide on Monday, Feb. 14.
Key officials of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 and Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) spearheaded the nationwide rollout of “Resbakuna Kids” at the Solaire Theater in Paranaque City.
“Isa pong paraan para ipakita ang ating pagmamahal sa isa’t isa ay ang pagbabakuna. Kaya naman natutuwa kami na ngayong araw ay madaragdagan na ang mga batang mabibigyan ng proteksyon laban sa COVID-19 (One way to show our love to one another is through vaccination. That’s why we are happy that today, more children will be given protection against COVID-19),” said vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.
During the soft roll-out of the pediatric vaccination for the younger population last Feb. 7, only 63 sites were activated by the NTF in Metro Manila and in select areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
But with the nationwide rollout, a total of 482 vaccination sites were opened, including 84 sites in Metro Manila.
“Last week, more or less 63 vaccination sites ang in-open natin but ngayon ‘yong lahat ng region ay magbubukas po tayo (Last week, more or less 63 vaccination sites were opened but now, we will have more in all of the regions),” Galvez said.
The vaccine czar added that around 91,000 children aged five to 11 have already been vaccinated so far. The government aims to vaccinate around 15 million kids in the said age bracket. There were also nine million kids and teens aged 12 to 17 who were inoculated nationwide.
He then assured that there are enough vaccines for the pediatric vaccination of the younger population as around six million doses will arrive for the month of February.
‘End of pandemic’
Meanwhile, Galvez said he shares the sentiment of a majority of the Filipinos who expects that the COVID-19 crisis will end this year. According to a recent survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS), around 51 percent of Filipinos believe that the COVID-19 crisis will end in 2022.
Galvez attributed the overwhelming positive response of the people to the “high” vaccination rate in the country.
“Iyon ang isa sa pinakamagandang dahilan, sa taas ng vaccination natin particularly sa different cities na more or less nag-100 percent tayo (That’s one of the best reasons, our vaccination rate is high in different cities where it reached more or less 100 percent),” Galvez shared.
“Iyong vaccination program natin ay malaki ang naitutulong sa pagbagsak ng ating cases (Our vaccination program has a big impact on the decreasing cases),” he added.
In Paranaque City alone, Mayor Edwin Olivarez said that four out of 16 barangays have already recorded zero active cases. He said the city government has inoculated 140 percent of their target adult population while around 60,000 children aged five to 11 have already been vaccinated.
Galvez also mentioned the public’s continued adherence to the minimum public health standards, and the help of the local government units and private sector in the vaccination program as among the reasons why the cases were on a decline.
In the sicceeding days, Galvez said he will visit the pediatric inoculation sites in Zamboanga City and Basilan since the vaccination program in Mindanao still lags compared to Visayas and Luzon.