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.