President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday directed local government units (LGUs) to identify individuals who had skipped their second Covid-19 vaccine dose.
The Covid-19 vaccines the country has rolled out—Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Sputnik V—are two-dose vaccines.
The doses are administered weeks to months apart.
In his address to the nation, Duterte said Filipinos should not be complacent about Covid-19 even if vaccines had started to arrive.
“Mahirapan talaga akong magkumbinse sa Pilipino, lalo na ‘yong matigas ang ulo. Kindly follow instruction. Hindi naman mahirap ‘yan e. You find time at your convenience na bumalik doon pumila at magpabakuna ng tinatawag nilang second booster. Iyon ang magbigay sa inyo ng more or less a good protection,” he said.
The Department of Health earlier said that more than 9 percent of vaccine recipients or 113,000 individuals did not return to vaccination centers for their second doses.
“I want the authorities and the LGUs to find out why this is happening and to take steps to return to their — maimbiyerna sila na madala ng mga barangay captain pati mayors. Kindly help us ferret out the persons who have not received the second booster until now,” the president added.
Because the country has yet to vaccinate achieve the threshold of vaccination in which a population could become immune to disease, Duterte said Filipinos must continue observing social distancing protocols, washing their hands and wearing face masks.
The Philippines has tallied 1,276,004 Covid-19 cases as of June 7. John Ezekiel J. Hirro