Central Luzon ramps up COVID-19 vaccination efforts

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Central Luzon is ramping up its COVID-19 vaccination efforts with the increased supply, and expanded population target.

Department of Health (DOH) Central Luzon Center for Health Development Nurse Shiela Ann Esteban shared that Region 3 has received a total of 11,398,354 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, as of November 5.

“The regional vaccine allocation will be able to fully immunize about 65 percent of our 8.7 million target, which is 70 percent of the total population,” she said during the Dagyaw 2021: Resbakuna para sa Ekonomiya Virtual Town Hall.

Given the added supply, the region has increased its vaccination target to 251,198 individuals daily as it eyes to inoculate 70% of the total population with the first dose; and 50% with the second dose by the end of November.

Also, DOH reported that Central Luzon has administered a total of 7,708,935 COVID-19 vaccine doses, as of November 8.

“For our vaccination, we implemented a prioritization on the A1, expanded A1, the rest of the adult population, and the rest of the pediatric population,” Esteban said.

Of the figure, a total of 4,574,150 or 52% were inoculated with the first dose; while 3,134,785 or 36% are fully vaccinated, out of the 8.7 million or 70% targeted population in the region.

For the pediatric vaccination, Region 3 has jabbed around 978 children since the roll out started on October 29, a figure that is only 1% of the 1.4 million regional target.

“This figure is based on the advice of the national government of gradual inoculation of vaccines to the children, given that special preparations are needed in the vaccination sites for pediatric vaccination,” Esteban emphasized.

Meanwhile, she explained that there is no need to sign another informed consent and assent form during the second dose vaccination schedule for the children, but health screening and assessment shall still be conducted during the said period, per the National Task Force (NTF) Advisory No. 99.

Esteban also reminded that the administration of additional COVID-19 doses, on top of the recommended dose series, is not allowed, per NTF Advisory No.72.

“To date, additional doses or booster shots are not allowed due to pending availability of sufficient and conclusive studies. As of now, there is no guideline or advisory on the provision of third dose or booster, and what brand should we give as a shot,” she said.  

She pointed out that DOH is bent in beefing up the simultaneous vaccination roll out to priority group A, particularly the A2 or senior citizens and A5 or indigent population; the rest of the adult population; Pediatric A3 or 12-17 years old with comorbidities; and the rest of the pediatric population.

DOH also ensures that although an additional population is being vaccinated, it is still focusing on the inoculation of the vaccine to those scheduled for their second dose. (MJSC/JLDC-PIA 3)