Thu, 20 Jan 2022

MANILA - Malacanang is confident that the country will surpass its target of fully vaccinating 54 million Filipinos by yearend should the next round of the government's simultaneous vaccine drive against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) be as successful as the first.

Acting Presidential Spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the second round of "Bayanihan, Bakunahan", which will run from December 15 to 17, is the last big "push" being done towards exceeding the country's goal.

The first Bayanihan, Bakunahan event, held from November 29 to December 3, administered around 10.2 million Covid-19 vaccine doses across the country.

"I think by December 31 of 2021 we are all confident that we will surpass the 54 million fully vaccinated, especially if we get the same support or even much more support for the second round ng Bayanihan, Bakunahan," he said in an interview over CNN Philippines' The Source on Wednesday.

Nograles said the national government and local governments are currently coordinating efforts to fine-tune the second simultaneous vaccine drive, including accommodating walk-ins.

"Then what we want to do also is create a system, based on our experience in the first round of the national vaccination days, create also a system for walk-ins," he added.

He assured that the private sector will also play a big role during the three-day simultaneous vaccine drive.

"Marami sa mga (Many of our) private sector partners natin have given vaccination sites, have provided volunteers and even in communication, information dissemination and just encouraging their workers and employees to get vaccinated, really mean big help in pushing these more and more Filipinos to get vaccinated. We hope for the same support in terms of these vaccination sites kasi yung (because the) private sector- they have the means and the sites necessary," he said.

Meanwhile, Nograles reminded employers to excuse workers who decide to get inoculated during the national vaccination days and even after the event.

"Anyone who needs to get vaccinated and who is scheduled to get vaccinated should be allowed and employers should not mark them as absent if they need to get vaccinated," he said.

Earlier, Nograles encouraged local governments to consider enhancing their house-to-house vaccination efforts for senior citizens and persons with comorbidities in an effort to boost vaccination numbers.

"Several or many of the LGUs ay gumagawa po ng mga house-to-house. Kung lahat po ng LGUs ay magkaroon ng ganiyang klaseng initiative especially para sa mga senior citizens natin at iyong mga-those with comorbidities, mas maganda po iyan, mas maigi po (Several or many of the LGUs conduct house-to-house vaccination. If all LGUs had the same initiative especially for senior citizens and those with comorbidities, it would be even better)," he said in an earlier interview.

On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte expressed hope that the second Bayanihan, Bakunahan drive would be as successful as the first.

"We will have a second round of Bayanihan, Bakunahan from December 15 to 17. I hope that would have the same success," he added. (PNA)

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