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Gov’t eyes to vaccinate 50M Filipinos this year

The government targets to inoculate about half of the country’s total population against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) this year, Secretary Vivencio Dizon, deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force Against Covid-19, said yesterday.

Dizon was in Balanga, Bataan yesterday to witness the first inoculation with Sinovac vaccines of top officials of the Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center  led by its director, Dr. Ria Baltazar.

“Our target is around 50 million people to be vaccinated this year,” he said in his speech, as he noted the rise in Covid-19 cases in some parts of the country and what government is doing to curb further spread of the virus.

“Our interventions, preventions, testing, tracing, isolation and treatment are continuous but, at the same time, we now have extra protection, our vaccinations,” Dizon said.

Cases of other variants of the virus are rising in Metro Manila so there is a need to strengthen the intervention, he noted.

He reminded the public to continue observing the minimum health standards such as the washing of hands, wearing of face masks and physical distancing.

“We need to roll out our vaccines faster, especially for health care workers so that when those who tested positive for Covid-19 are hospitalized, they are protected,” Dizon added.

He could not give the exact number of those already vaccinated, saying the Department of Health DOH will provide the update.

Dizon also said more vaccines against Covid-19 will be arriving in the country in the next few weeks and months.

He also gave tribute to health care workers, adding that the supply of AstraZeneca vaccines should be reserved for the elderly in the sector.

Dizon also described the present mood of health workers amid the start of vaccination as different from last year’s when the deadly virus started to adversely affect the country.

Today, what we are seeing is different with the health workers. They are already smiling and it is obvious that instead of a face of fear, a face of hope could be seen. So, it is a huge symbol that they are the first to be inoculated with the vaccines that came out in recent days,” Dizon said.

He noted that he was inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine, which had no adverse effect on him. He said the vaccine from China is safe and urged everyone to take it.*PNA

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