19.7 million Filipinos received 1st Covid booster shot—DOH

Coronavirus vaccines have been prepared for distribution at a vaccination site in Manila on May 18, 2021. (Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

The Department of Health (DOH) said around 19.7 million individuals in the country have already received their first Covid-19 vaccine booster shot.

The figure includes the 3.2 million Filipinos who received their first booster shot under the PinasLakas campaign, said DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“Ngayon, ang cumulative accomplishments natin sa lahat ng nagpapa first booster shot sa buong bansa (Now, our cumulative accomplishments of all those who get the first booster shot nationwide) is at 19.7 million—this is equating to around 25 percent of all eligible population,” said Vergeire in a press briefing on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

The DOH has set a booster shot target of 30 percent by Oct. 8 that marks the first 100 days of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s administration.

“We have said that we have recalibrated and we will try to achieve 30 percent by Oct. 8. Sa ngayon po (Right now), we still lack around five percent which is equated to around 3.6 million that we still need to cover for us to reach the 30 percent,” said Vergeire.

To achieve their target, Vergeire said that they continue to intensify efforts on the ground through the help of local government units (LGUs), medical societies, and other partners.


Moreover, the DOH is also planning to give incentives to LGUs who can achieve “high performance” in terms of their booster coverage for their respective eligible population.

“We are also looking at granting incentives to our local governments. Hinahantay lang po natin na maaprubahan ang ating budget na naisumite that we can use para po dito sa ating (We are just waiting for our submitted budget to be approved that we can use for this) granting of incentives to our local governments who are having high performance in their coverage for first boosters and also for their senior citizens,” said Vergeire.

Vergeire also expressed her gratitude to some LGUs that have set up incentive programs in order to encourage their constituents to get vaccinated and boosted.

This kind of program is “effective” to increase the Covid-19 vaccine booster coverage, said Vergeire.

“Nandyaan na yung pagbibigay ng bigas, may nagbibigay ng groceries, yung iba nagbibigay ng P50 bawat isang pamilya or tao na magpapabakuna. Iba't-ibang gimik para sila po ay mas mahikayat na makapagpabakuna (Some are giving rice, groceries, while others are giving P50 for each family or person who gets vaccinated. There are various gimmicks to encourage them to get vaccinated),” she said.

“This is a good practice and hopefully, other LGUs will be following and doing this kind of incentivization for our public so that they get encouraged to get vaccinated,'' she added.