The government is looking for more volunteers for the three-day national vaccination drive from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.
National Vaccines Operation Center (NVOC) head and Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said at least 5,000 volunteers have passed the application. This does not yet include those who have directly contacted their local government units (LGU).
Around 24,000 more applications are pending.
There are three types of volunteers. The health professionals who will conduct the screening, vaccination, and monitoring of those who will be vaccinated; the data encoders; and the ushers and security.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said they need health screeners, vaccinators, post-vaccination monitoring personnel, health educators, registration personnel, data consolidators, and encoders.
Those who are interested in volunteering may scan the QR code or click the link on the official social media accounts of the Department of Health (DOH).
Pharmacist Rosemarie Quinio has volunteered in various vaccination sites to inoculate residents against COVID-19 since August. She did not hesitate to register in the three-day vaccination drive.
“I will be assigned in Manila LGU, maybe in private schools which will serve as vaccination sites, however, I am willing to be designated in other places, even in the province,” Quinio said.
The government seeks to administer 5 million doses daily during the three-day national vaccination campaign, or a total of 15 million people.
As of now, almost 34.5 million people are now fully vaccinated, while 43.8 million people received their first dose.
Cabotaje said the regions near the National Capital Region (NCR) are the biggest areas targeted to be vaccinated in the three-day drive.
“We have targeted Region 3 to vaccinate 2 million individuals for the three days, and Calabarzon, which is the largest region in the country, to inoculate 3 million individuals for the three days,” Cabotaje said.
Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said there were at least 10 provinces and 42 cities that had vaccinated almost 70 percent of their population as of Nov. 21.
There are 8,000 existing vaccination centers, which could reach 10,000 to 11,000 as some churches, schools, private clinics, and fast food chains will be used as vaccination centers.
The head of Caritas Philippines, Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo urged the public to support the National Vaccination Days against COVID-19.
In a statement, Bagaforo said that “since January, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has supported the call of the government for a whole-of-society approach to curb the effects of the global pandemic in our country – getting vaccination has been one of our strongest appeals.”
The DOH appealed to Filipinos to take the opportunity to get vaccinated.
“Protecting our health through vaccination will increase our confidence to go out and see our loved ones this Christmas, as well as ensure a safe return to work. So we encourage every eligible individual, especially our lolo and lola, and our loved ones who have underlying medical conditions who are not yet vaccinated, to take advantage of these National Vaccination Days and get your jabs done,” Vergeire said.
Reports in the US say that over 93 percent of COVID-19 deaths were among unvaccinated individuals.
In the Philippines, an analysis of hospital data from March 1 to Nov. 14 showed that 85 percent of the admissions due to COVID-19 were not fully vaccinated.
Moreover, deaths and serious outcomes are more likely to happen among unvaccinated patients with over 93.4 percent of them dying based on the reports gathered by DOH.
The country officially rolled out its vaccination program on March 1.
The Philippines logged 863 new COVID-10 cases on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 2,830,387.
This is the second-lowest number of new cases recorded, following the 849 cases reported on Nov. 16.
There were 142 new fatalities, bringing the COVID-19 death toll to 48,017.
The DOH also reported 791 new recoveries, bringing the total recoveries to 2,764,517.
There were 17,853 active cases, of which 51.5 percent were mild, 6.6 percent were asymptomatic, 6.1 percent were critical, 14.2 percent were severe, and 21.57 percent were moderate.
The COVID-19 positivity rate remained below 5 percent, at 2.5 percent, based on 38,998 tests conducted on Nov. 24.
Nationwide, 29 percent of ICU beds, 26 percent of isolation beds, 16 percent of ward beds, and 18 percent of ventilators, were in use.
In Metro Manila, 29 percent of ICU beds, 25 percent of isolation beds,
20 percent of ward beds, and 19 percent of ventilators, were in use.
The government announced Friday it will begin to accept fully vaccinated foreign nationals who are allowed to stay in the country without a visa. The new travel policy will be implemented from Dec. 1 to 15.
In other developments:
* Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) announced on Friday it has transported more than 30 million COVID-19 vaccine doses across the country in time for the three-day National Vaccination Days. CEB said it has airlifted life-saving vaccines to 28 provinces. “We are pleased to actively participate in helping drive the country’s immunization program. The timely delivery of vaccines across the Philippines aids in ensuring the safety of the Filipinos while promoting economic recovery,” said Alex Reyes, CEB chief strategy officer.
* Pharmaserv Express Inc., the government’s cold-chain and logistics partner, is now gearing up for the three-day nationwide COVID-19 vaccination program. "As the country is set to hold a national vaccination program, we guarantee that we have more than enough capability to package and distribute the various COVID-19 vaccine brands that require different temperatures at any given time," said Pharmaserv president Adrian Perez in a statement.