Marking the first anniversary of the Resbakuna Program, the country’s national vaccination rollout program, the Department of Health (DOH) recorded over 63 million fully vaccinated Filipinos against COVID-19.
During its initial phase, the program prioritized inoculating the sectors who are at high risk of COVID-19 infection- the medical frontliners, senior citizens, and people with comorbidities. To date, data from the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) show that 93% of healthcare workers, 62.82% of our senior citizens, and 92% of people with comorbidities have been fully vaccinated, respectively. As part of this feat, the country has also begun the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 years old with more than 700,000 children receiving their first COVID-19 doses.
Coming from a peak in the number of cases in January, we now observe a decline as we realize a wider and extensive national vaccination coverage in addition to minimum public health standards. This provides a clearer picture to what the World Health Organization (WHO) had previously envisioned in countries with high vaccination rates, as transmissions of the virus do not automatically lead to pressuring the health system and its capacity.
“With the ongoing efforts of the national government, we are confident that we will be able to reach our target population as we make the vaccination coverage wider and more accessible for everyone,” said National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) Chair and Undersecretary of Health of the Field Implementation and Coordination Team (NCR and Luzon) Myrna C. Cabotaje.
The DOH continues to work towards population protection through programs such as the conduct of National Vaccination Days, Resbakuna sa Botika, and vaccination in pharmacies, primary care and occupational health clinics, as well as air, sea, and transportation terminals for the elderly and vulnerable populations. As Metro Manila and 38 areas are placed under Alert level 1, the DOH encourages the public to recognize the importance of staying protected through vaccination and adherence to minimum health standard protocols with the easing of restrictions.
“As the country marks the milestones of the Resbakuna program, I would like to sincerely thank the over 63 million Filipinos who have believed and trusted in our COVID-19 vaccines. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the national government agencies, local government units, civil society organizations, and development partners who took part in making all these possible. To our friends in the private sector, volunteers, and the media, the DOH truly appreciates the magnanimous efforts you have put in to make the program all the more successful. All of these further prove that vaccines and booster shots are still our best long-term solution in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic,” expressed Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III.