DOH says Covid-19 vax sites soon up in schools and public markets

Covid-19 vaccination site will shortly be set up in schools, public markets and churches to ramp up inoculation drive, including booster shots for the public.

 Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH intends to implement a “settings approach” or establishment of inoculation sites in public spaces to bring the first booster doses closer to the target population.

“So, when we say settings approach, this can be in schools,  workplaces, churches and other sites in the community,” she said.

As of July 11, only about 15.3 million have an up-to-date vaccination status or have received the first booster shot. About 71 million are fully vaccinated or have completed the primary series and more than 954,000 Filipinos have received their second booster shots.

Vergeire said aside from implementing this settings approach, “we are going to do our mapping up especially of the primary series, and we want it to have a higher impact, because we would like to at least have achieved our coverage target within the first 100 days of the current administration,” The DOH, she said would look for the elderly and persons with comorbidities who have yet to receive the primary series of Covid-19 vaccines.

On Monday, infectious diseases expert Dr. Rontgene Solante said the boosted population is “still very low” at less than 20 percent of the target population. It is “high time” to mandate the booster vaccination to the general population, he stressed.

Citing the vaccination numbers of neighboring Southeast Asian countries, Solante said Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand have reached more than 50 percent of the target population for the booster doses.

“Maybe, it should be mandatory just to increase protection, especially now that we’re preparing for the face-to-face classes in November, and the workplaces are also open now,” he added.