April 8, 2022
MANILA — As COVID-19 cases will likely rise, especially after the elections on May 9, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the Philippines should be prepared.
Dr. Rajendra Yadav, acting WHO representative to the Philippines, stressed that to prepare for and possibly prevent a rise in COVID-19 cases, everyone should wear a mask and get booster shots.
Last April 1, Dr. Rontgene Solante, a specialist on infectious diseases, said highly crowded election-related activities and the “waning immunity” of people who have yet to get booster shots could be the reasons for a new surge in cases.
Yadav said on Wednesday (April 6) that the continuous “recalibration” of COVID-19 response is essential. He recommended house-to-house vaccination, especially for Filipinos not yet vaccinated.
It was last year when Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the government was expecting to completely vaccinate 77 million Filipinos by quarter one 2022 then 90 million by quarter two 2022.
Likewise, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., head of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, said 71.16 million Filipinos are expected to have received booster doses by quarter three 2022.
However, as of March 30, there were only 65,885,048 fully vaccinated and 64,332,540 initially vaccinated. Out of the fully vaccinated, there were only 12,018,418 individuals who received booster shots.
Last March 29, when the total number of fully vaccinated was still 65,804,988, Bantay Bakuna, which advocates for a comprehensive and transparent rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, said the seven-day average rate was 182,709 per day.
Bantay Bakuna stressed that if the government continued with this rate, it would take two months to fully vaccinate 77 million and 10 months to fully vaccinate 90 million.
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said on April 2 that 27 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine are set to expire in July. He said “time is of the essence.”
Concepcion stressed that “if we don’t use these vaccines, we will have wasted Filipino taxpayers’ money. Let’s not waste 27 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine”.