MANILA – National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. on Thursday said he is open to pushing mandatory vaccination as the country continues to receive more vaccine supplies.
“Talagang darating ang araw na yan dahil kasi dati hindi natin mamandato ang bakunahan kasi wala pa tayong supply. Ngayon maganda na ang supply natin atsaka gusto nating maprotektahan yung karamihan (We will get there someday because we cannot mandate this before since we don’t have enough supply. So now we have good supply and we really wanted to protect most of our people),” Galvez said in a media interview during the ceremonial booster vaccination of senior citizens and immunocompromised persons in Batangas City.
Galvez cited that Covid-19 cases in some countries are increasing due to those persons who are spreading false information about the vaccines.
He added most of the critical Covid-19 patients treated in various hospitals are unvaccinated individuals.
Galvez, also vaccine czar, noted that many countries have mandated the vaccination against Covid-19.
Vaccinated vs. unvaccinated
Galvez said the government is currently imposing stricter quarantine protocols on unvaccinated individuals compared to those who completed their two primary doses.
Unvaccinated travelers are required to complete up to 10 days quarantine which is longer compared to the three-day quarantine requirement for those fully vaccinated passengers.
Galvez recalled that President Rodrigo Duterte said the employers have the right to refuse to hire unvaccinated applicants–in course of “protecting their businesses and other people” against the severe impact of the dreaded disease.
Meanwhile, NTF deputy chief and testing czar Vince Dizon said the Covid-19 vaccination program is a “long-term” solution to the prevailing health crisis, not only in the Philippines but also globally.
“Kinakailangan talaga magpabakuna ang lahat. Hindi lamang para sa sarili pero pati narin sa community natin (We all really need to get vaccinated. Not only for our own sake, but for the sake of our entire community),” said Dizon, who is also the newly appointed presidential adviser on Covid-19 response.
The latest data from the national Covid-19 vaccination dashboard showed the Philippines has administered a total of 78,528,357 doses of Covid-19 vaccines nationwide.
Of this number, 43,870,322 were given as first dose, 34,55,933 as second shot and 102,102 as booster shot.
The country’s average daily vaccination rate in the last seven days stood at 823,561.
Synchronized vaccination matrix
Galvez previously bared the NTF’s synchronized matrix for the country’s massive vaccination drive which will be done in four phases until the third quarter of next year.
The first phase involves achieving population protection by fully inoculating at least 54 million adult Filipinos and at least 80 percent of children aged 12-17 years old before this year ends.
This also includes the completion of booster vaccination for 1.6 million healthcare workers as well as additional doses and booster shots for around 5 to 8 million elderly and persons with comorbidities.
In the second phase, the government should increase the number of fully vaccinated Filipinos up to 77 million by the end of the first quarter next year.
During the second quarter of next year, the government aims to increase the target number of fully vaccinated Filipinos up to 90 million under the third phase.
The completion of primary doses and booster vaccination for the rest of the Filipino population in the fourth phase will be done by the third quarter of next year.