PH gov’t eyes complete COVID-19 vaccination of tourism workers this year

Robie de Guzman   •   September 27, 2021   •   78

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is looking to complete the vaccination against COVID-19 of more than 5 million tourism workers in the country by the end of the year, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said.

NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Cabinet Secretaries and task force officials set this target during the ceremonial vaccination for tourism industry workers in Cebu last Friday.

“When the pandemic struck, the nation’s tourism sector took a major hit. We believe that in order for the industry to get back on its feet and safely open our economy, we need to vaccinate as many members of our workforce as possible,” he said.

Galvez has approved an allocation of 20,000 doses per week for tourism workers.

Weekly allocations will cover employees in hotels and resorts, as well as in restaurants, airports, tourist destinations, and other tourism-related establishments across the country.

Galvez said the government is planning to boost the vaccination program for tourism workers in regions and provinces, especially in Cebu province where about 50% of tourism workers have already been vaccinated.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, for her part, said the agency aims to fully vaccinate 99% of its tourism workers in Cebu before the holiday season.

She added that the NTF has committed to allocate a specific volume of vaccine doses for tourism workers that will come from the supplies to be shipped to local government units nationwide.

Gov’t urged to prohibit walk-ins in COVID-19 vaccination for minors

Robie de Guzman   •   October 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday called on the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 to avoid walk-ins and prevent crowding in vaccination sites when the pilot inoculation for minors begins on October 15.

“I would discourage the NTF from doing a first-come, first-served walk-in type of arrangement,” Gatchalian said during a Senate panel hearing on the pilot testing of limited face-to-face classes that also discussed the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to minors.

“We don’t allow a walk-in type of arrangement dahil talagang mag-iipon-ipon ang mga tao, especially now that the weather condition is unpredictable at maya’t maya ay umuulan. Let’s not do a walk-in type of arrangement because that will really spell disaster at the end,” he added, referring to the experience of Valenzuela City, which strictly imposed vaccination schedules to avoid overcrowding in vaccination sites.

The government is poised to begin administering COVID-19 vaccines to minors aged 12 to 17 with comorbidities. They are listed in the Pediatric A3 category and will be the first to receive their COVID-19 vaccines.

Children of healthcare workers will also be given priority in pediatric vaccination against COVID-19.

“It’s about time that we vaccinate our teenagers and we support the prioritization of teenagers with comorbidities,” Gatchalian said.

What we’re driving at is that we don’t want a scenario wherein they will be lining up in those eight hospitals. Kawawa naman ang mga batang ito sa ganung sitwasyon,” he added.

Eight hospitals so far have been designated for the first phase of pediatric vaccination. These include the National Children’s Hospital, Philippine Heart Center, Pasig City Children’s Hospital, Fe Del Mundo Medical Center, Philippine General Hospital, Makati Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig, and Philippine Children’s Medical Center.

The vaccine rollout in hospitals will begin with the 15-17 age group followed by minors aged 12-14.

The government will be using Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for the vaccination of this age group, as these were granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.

Pangulong Duterte sa mga ayaw magpabakuna vs COVID-19: ‘Turukan habang tulog’

Robie de Guzman   •   October 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Muling umapela si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa publiko na magpabakuna na kontra COVID-19 upang agad nang maabot ng bansa ang minimithing herd protection laban sa nakakahawang sakit.

Ginawa ng pangulo ang apela sa gitna ng marami pa ring bilang ng mga Pilipinong ayaw magpabakuna sa kabila ng pagdating ng mga suplay sa bansa.

 Kung ayaw magpabakuna, sinabi ng pangulo na dapat hanapin ang mga ito sa bawat barangay at “turukan habang tulog.”

“Alam ko marami pang ayaw eh. Iyan ang problema ‘yung ayaw, ayaw magpabakuna. Kaya hanapin ninyo ‘yan sa barangay ninyo. Akyatin natin ‘pag tulog at turukin natin habang natutulog para makumpleto ‘yung istorya. Eh kung ayaw, eh ‘di akyatin sa bahay eh, tusukin natin sa gabi. Ako ang mag-ano — I will lead the journey,” ang wika ng pangulo sa kanyang recorded na Talk to the People noong Lunes ng gabi.

Sa ngayon ay pinalalawak na ng pamahalaan ang coverage ng mass vaccination sa bansa.

Sa Biyernes, Oktubre 15, ilulunsad na ang pagbabakuna sa mga batang may edad 12 hanggang 17 na may co-morbidities saw along ospital sa Metro Manila.

Sinisimulan na rin ang pagbabakuna sa general adult population sa ilang lugar.

Nasa 23 milyong Pilipino ang fully vaccinated laban sa COVID-19 habang 26 milyon naman ang nakatanggap ng unang dose mula nang simulan ang vaccination program noong buwan ng Marso.

Duterte hopes 50% of PH population vaccinated vs COVID-19 by year-end

Robie de Guzman   •   October 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte expressed hope that 50 percent of the country’s population will be full vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the year.

Duterte made the pronouncement in his pre-taped Talk to the People late Monday as he mentioned the declining cases of COVID-19 in the country.

“Yung hawaan, contamination, nagbaba sa awa ng Dios. According to the latest data. Our weekly average of new COVID-19 cases has dropped to less than 10,000 and the current reproduction rate of the virus is down to .77% magandang balita ito,” he said.

Duterte believes that the decrease in the transmission rate might be due to the effects of the vaccine and the increasing immunization rate, particularly in the National Capital Region.

“Magtanong kayo kung bakit? Dahil sa bakuna. Dahil sa bakuna bumaba talaga ang hawaan,” he said.

The Philippine government earlier reported that around 23 million Filipinos are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19 while 26 million have received their first dose.

In Metro Manila, 77 percent of residents are already fully immunized against coronavirus.

“The challenge is now to further speed up our vaccination rollout, especially in the provinces, in the key cities and municipalities to achieve our target of at least 50 percent of the country’s target population by the end of the year,” Duterte said.

“We are confident that most, if not all, major cities in the country will be hit and even surpass this target before Christmas, sana,” he added.

The national government initially targeted to vaccinate up to 70 percent of the country’s 109 million population by December this year. However, it increased its target to up to 90 percent before the May 2022 elections.

Duterte reiterated his call for everyone eligible to get the vaccine to get themselves inoculated to protect them against the severe form of COVID-19.

“Again, I would like to ask everyone to go out and get yourself vaccinated, regard — regardless of the brand. This is not just for your own protection but also as — part of your civic duty to protect others and also allow us to turn the page to get everyone back on track to normalcy,” he said.

“If we continue to ramp up the vaccination of our people, along with our consistent practice of mask — huwag pa rin ninyong tanggalin — hugas at iwas, and may the gradual resumption of our economic activities, then we can hope for a better and truly merry Christmas. Bumababa ‘yung hawaan, simplehin na lang natin,” he added.

The national government is looking to start the vaccination of the general adult population this month to attain the vaccination rate target for this year.

The COVID-19 vaccination for minors aged 12 to 17 with co-morbidities is also expected to start on Friday, October 15 in eight hospitals in Metro Manila.

 

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