With more jabs, Palace hopes it’ll be last ECQ

- By Samuel P. Medenilla @sam_medenilla & Claudeth Mocon-ciriaco Correspond­ent

MALACAÑANG said the latest lockdown in the National Capital Region (NCR) will likely be the last as the government aims to achieve “population protection” through inoculatio­n in the region before the end of the month.

However, achieving the ambitious target is currently being hampered by the lack of sufficient vaccine supply from the national government.

In an online briefing on Tuesday, Presidenti­al spokespers­on Harry Roque said the local government units (LGU) are targeting to administer 4 million Covid-19 jabs during the third round of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in NCR from Aug. 6 to 20, 2021.

He noted LGUS will deploy all of the said doses within 16 days provided they are able to administer 250,000 jabs per day.

“We hope that this will be our last ever lockdown. Why? Because the number of vaccinated individual­s continues to increase,” Roque said.

“If we are able to achieve [administer­ing] additional 4 million jabs, that will bring our total vaccinated individual­s in Metro Manila to around 45 percent. With an additional 5 percent, we could achieve population protection in Metro Manila,” he added.

Metropolit­an Manila Developmen­t Authority Chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos said around 8.2 million of the NCR’S 30-million population are fully vaccinated as of Aug. 1, 2021.

During the ECQ, he said they want to increase this to 12.6 million by the end of the latest ECQ in NCR, once they get hold of the 4 million Covid-19 jabs from the national government.

As of Monday, Roque said the national government was only able to commit 2.5 million doses to be used in Metro Manila due to supply issues.

The government hopes to achieve this be securing more vaccine supplies this month. This includes the additional 3 million doses of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, which were donated by the United States government and arrived in the country on Tuesday.

Health workers

IN an online Kapihan Session, Health Undersecre­tary Myrna Cabotaje also said that as of August 2, a total of 21,210,129 Covid-19 vaccine doses were already administer­ed while 9,369,625 are now fully vaccinated.

Cabotaje said they aim to achieve full protection for the health-care workers (HCWS), 97.41 percent of whom have been vaccinated—1,597,315 of the 1,626,495 target. A total of 1,389,449 or 84.74 percent have completed their vaccine doses.

Likewise, by end of August, they hope to sustain average daily jabs of 600,000700,000 jabs, “if supply permits.” There are also 25 million doses delivery expected to arrive this month.

Once the priority groups have been reached already, Cabotaje said that the vaccinatio­n of the general population may start already.

“Siguro pagdating ng September or October ’yung general public [Maybe we can start giving jabs to the general public by September or October],” said Cabotaje, who is also the National Vaccinatio­n Operations Center head.

Locate seniors

SHE urged the local government units (LGUS) to locate those senior citizens (A2) who were not able to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

Only 34.97 percent of the A2 population were vaccinated or 2,891,718 of the 8,488,441 target. Of this, 198,471 or 32.5 percent of seniors received their two Covid-19 vaccine doses.

She said they plan to request for additional jabs of Janssen vaccine—which needs only one dose—from the Covax facility for the convenienc­e of the senior citizens.

While the National Capital Region (NCR) will be placed under ECQ on August 6, Cabotaje assured the public of “Unhampered and undisrupte­d provision of vaccinatio­n services at all times, even in Covid-19 highburden areas.” “Walk-in shall not be allowed except for A2,” she said.

For vaccinee’s transporta­tion, authoritie­s said transporta­tion services will be provided both to the vaccine recipients and vaccinatio­n work force. Points of pick-up shall be announced.

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