The Bayanihan, Bakunahan III has been extended until February 18 following the initial rollout’s success Thursday.
The Department of Health (DOH) said over 660,000 Filipinos nationwide were vaccinated on February 10 alone, at least 442,346 of which received primary doses.
A total of 219,972 booster shots were also administered.
As this developed, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the pediatric inoculation would continue in the 56 dedicated vaccine sites for children.
“Hindi maapektuhan ang pagbabakuna noong 5 to 11. Sinadya natin na may specific sites for them dahil ayaw nating hahalo sila doon sa 12 years old and pataas para maiwasan ang vaccination errors. Magtutuloy-tuloy ito in parallel with the Bakunahan program 3 (The vaccination for 5 to 11 will continue, we identified specific sites just for them because we want to avoid any vaccination error. This will be done in parallel with the Bakunahan program 3),” she said in a media briefing.
To date, some 52,262 children aged five to 11 have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
None experienced any serious adverse event and only four have reported mild reactions, including pain in the injection area, rashes, slight increase in blood pressure, and vomiting– all of which subsided eventually.
“The DOH stands by the fact that vaccines do work. Patuloy pong bumababa ang kaso ng Covid-19 sa ating bansa habang nanatiling low risk ang ating national health systems capacity dahil sa patuloy na pagtaas ng ating vaccination rate (The number of Covid-19 cases continues to decline while our national health systems capacity remains at low risk because of the high vaccination rates),” she said.
As she encouraged the public, particularly parents and guardians to support the vaccine rollout, Vergeire clarified that this program is “purely voluntary”.
“Gusto lamang naming i-emphasize sa lahat ng ating kababayan, lalo na sa ating mga magulang, gusto lang naming sabihin, kahit kailan hindi po sinabi ng DOH na ang ating pagbabakuna ay pupuwersahin natin ang ating mga magulang (We just want to emphasize that the DOH never said we will force the parents to get their children vaccinated),” she said. “This is purely voluntary, we are asking for the consent and the assent of kids dito sa ating mga polisiya na ito (in our policies here).” (PNA)