Former Vice President Jejomar Binay on Friday urged the government to send more COVID-19 vaccines outside Metro Manila.
“The vaccine supply should not be concentrated in Metro Manila. Every citizen, including those from the provinces, should be vaccinated,” said Binay in a statement.
Binay said the vaccination rate remains low in several regions. He noted that several local officials have complained that their request for more vaccines has not been acted upon by the national government.
“This imbalance should be immediately resolved in favor of local government units outside the National Capital Region,” said Binay, who is running for senator in the May 9, 2022 elections.
“If we want the country to get back on its feet, we need to vaccinate everyone, not just a few,” he added.
While almost 90 percent of Metro Manila’s target population is now vaccinated, the inoculation rate in several regions remains low.
Based on the recent data from the Department of Information and Communications Technology, those regions include Ilocos (29.59 percent); Cagayan (27.65 percent); Mimaropa (21.59 percent); Bicol (20.91 percent); Eastern Visayas (25.15 percent); Caraga Region (28.29 percent); and Soccsksargen (21.49 percent).
On Thursday night, a shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The latest shipment of 609,570 Pfizer doses is part of the 40 million vaccine shots the government procured from the American pharmaceutical firm.
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor encouraged unvaccinated Filipinos to get COVID-19 jab, saying this is the best Christmas gift they can give to their loved ones.
According to Mayor, the government aims to fully vaccinate 54 million Filipinos by the end of the year.
As of Nov. 17, a total of 72,763,442 vaccine doses have been administered nationwide, of which 40,179,796 Filipinos have already received their first dose while 32,581,158 individuals are now fully vaccinated.
Some 2,488 healthcare workers have also received booster shots since their administration was officially rolled out on Nov. 17.
“That would be the start of 1.6 million healthcare workers that we have, dahil sila po ang una nating babakunahan ng (they will be the first to be vaccinated with) booster shots. After that, it is 5 million senior citizens and 7.6 million persons with comorbidities,” Mayor said.
To date, a total of 129,053,970 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to the Philippines.