4th drive to prioritize remote areas with low COVID vax rates

Young children were treated with clowns and mascots during a pediatric vaccination at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center. (PHOTO BY PCMC)

MANILA, Philippines — The fourth national COVID-19 vaccination campaign, dubbed “Bayanihan, Bakunahan,” will prioritize remote areas with low vaccination rates, according to a statement from the Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday.

Priority areas will include those where indigenous peoples live and what the government calls Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs).

“The Department has brought immunization services closer to people and communities to boost immunization rollout,” the DOH said.

“In coordination with local government units (LGUs) and the private sector, pharmacies, primary care clinics and occupational health clinics, as well as air, sea and transport terminals, are being used to achieve greater part of the target population. Churches, parishes and cathedrals are also extending their help to serve as vaccination sites for a greater reach of inoculation,” he added.

The DOH said the campaign will reach seniors through home vaccination.

In its statement, the DOH again emphasized that the benefits of being vaccinated far outweigh the risk of possible adverse effects.

1.8 million target people

During that time, the DOH aims to vaccinate a total of 1.8 million people. These include those who need to receive a second dose, the remaining population of the elderly and adolescents.

The DOH will coordinate with the Department of Labor and Employment and the Public Service Commission to excuse employees who should be absent if their scheduled vaccination day falls on a business day.

“Everyone can get vaccinated thanks to continued vaccination operations and expansion through more accessible vaccination sites across the country,” the DOH said.

The fourth drive will take place from March 10 to 12.


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