MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday urged the government and the private sector to “work harder” in the second round of a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign made more urgent by the threat of the omicron coronavirus variant .
The Philippines plans to vaccinate 7 million Filipinos in the second phase of the “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” program from December 15-17.
“As we launch the second phase of Bayanihan, Bakunahan, let us show the same enthusiasm, cooperation and determination that made the first phase a success,” Duterte said in a message read by his spokesperson. Acting word, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
“Let’s work harder to reach all unvaccinated Filipinos so that we can give them the protection they need to stay healthy,” added the president during the climactic Bayanihan program, Bakunahan’s first race.
Authorities inoculated about 8,098,078 million people of the 9 million targets during the program’s first phase from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, said vaccine “czar” Carlito Galvez Jr.
“Bayanihan’s very successful first phase, Bakunahan not only brought us closer to our goal of protecting the population from COVID-19, it also demonstrated what remarkable feats we can achieve if we stand together and stand together,” said Duterte through Nograles.
“We honor your heroism,” the President told frontline people, government officials, private partners and the general public who attended the event.
He praised the local government units that achieved the best results during the program, including the cities of Calabarzon, Laguna Province, Cebu City, Tanza, Rodriguez and Arayat.
Duterte also praised Tawi-Tawi and General Santos City for recording the biggest improvement in jab rate.
As of March, the Philippines has fully immunized at least 39.5 million of its 77.1 million target population.
The Philippines has yet to detect any cases of omicron, which the World Health Organization has classified as a variant of concern. The WHO has said omicron is probably more transmissible than previous variants, although it is “very unlikely” to escape vaccine protection altogether.
“Bagamat patuloy ang pagbaba ing ating mga kaso [ng COVID-19]I’ve taught anyone else in the world, said Galvez.
(Although our COVID-199 cases continue to decline, we need to be more careful with the more transmissible variants.)