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DILG chief confident of vax effort’s success



Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año is confident that the three-day national vaccination drive can still meet its target of 9 million doses, despite falling a bit short of the goal on the first day.

Some 2.55 million doses of vaccines against Covid-19 were administered on Monday, the first of three “national vaccination days,” Año told reporters.

The government targeted 3 million vaccines on Day 1 to reach 9 million doses by Wednesday, in a bid to achieve “herd immunity” as many people have yet to show up for jabs.

“That’s good enough. Whereas before we could reach only 1 to 1.5 million. Hopefully, we can surpass the target,” Año said.

Año noted a “favorable” turnout of minors who had themselves inoculated and said more people are expected to show up as Tuesday is a national holiday.

National Police chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos, whose men are assigned to secure vaccination sites and take part as vaccinators as well, reported a “generally peaceful” Day 1 of inoculations.

The DILG chief, meanwhile, expressed support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s wish to make vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory, amid the threat of the coronavirus’ Omicron variant.

For now, Año said he continues to call on LGUs to encourage their residents to have themselves vaccinated.

But if he was to have his way, Año said he would also not allow unvaccinated persons to go out, unless they show negative results of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR tests.