The Department of Health (DOH) said only 6 percent of senior citizens in the Philippines have received vaccines against COVID-19, two months after the government rolled out its inoculation program.
Only 466,000 of the 7.7 million senior citizens in the country were vaccinated, according to DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, chairperson of the National Vaccination Operations Center.
“Karamihan ng A2 (senior citizens) at A3 (persons with comorbidities), dito lang sa NCR (National Capital Region), Calabarzon at Region 3 kasi sila ang binuhusan natin ng bakuna,” she told state television PTV.
(Most of the senior citizens and persons with comorbidities that were vaccinated are from the National Capital Region, Calabarzon and Region 3 because this is where we poured the vaccines.)
“Konting-konti lang po ‘yung sa ibang region,” she said.
(There were only few from other regions.)
NCR Plus (Metro Manila and nearby provinces) is under modified enhanced community quarantine since a COVID-19 surge was seen in March.
DOH is coordinating with its regional offices to make the inoculation of senior citizens and other priority groups in other regions faster, Cabotaje said.
“Ang problema noon medyo walang vaccine na available so hesitant sila na mag-start,” she said.
Only 6 percent of seniors vaccinated against COVID-19: DOH
(Our problem before was there were no available vaccines so they were hesitant to begin the inoculation program.)
“Now that we have enough vaccines, I’m sure they will be happy to receive it especially sa areas na matataas [ang cases],” she said.
(Now that we have enough vaccines, I’m sure they will be happy to receive it especially in areas where the cases are high.)
Cabotaje said mayors in several localities such as Iloilo City and Cagayan de Oro City have been asking for more COVID-19 vaccines.
“They are needing more vaccines so I am sure they are adjusting their strategies para maibigay ‘yung kaukulang (so that they can give the adequate) number of jabs within a shorter period,” she said.
The government targets to vaccinate at least 70,000 people per day with the recent arrival of more AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines.