Health officials encouraged Filipinos to complete their COVID-19 vaccine on schedule, after it was known that half of the target for vaccinations missed their second dose.
An expert from the pandemic task force, Dr. John Wong, said that out of some 2.1 million who received their first dose, only a million have returned to complete their immunization.
In a statement, the Department of Health explained that the said numbers are from independent evaluations by experts, and suggested that the real numbers may differ from that on the field.
“The reported missed schedules for 2nd dose are estimates and based on certain assumptions,” said Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, who added that per the National Vaccinations Center, the actual numbers show 9% postponed their second dose or approximately 113,000 individuals.
According to reports, most common reasons for missing out on the second dose are: getting sick, being exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual, or undergoing quarantine.
The Undersecretary also stated the assessments from independent experts allow government to validate its data and improve in the country’s vaccination efforts.
“Do not worry because you can still get your second dose. In fact, we urge you to coordinate with your local government units to reschedule your vaccination. We will only get our protection against COVID-19 from complete vaccine doses.”Health Secretary Francicso Duque III
Administration of vaccine in the country began in March. Three months later, DOH figures showed 5.18 million doses have been distributed.
This translates to 3.97 million Filipinos with their first dose, while 1.20 million are fully vaccinated.
With additional report: Philippine Star
Image sources: Asian Development Bank, Manila Bulletin