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COVID VAXXING BOOST AMID IN-PERSON CLASSES URGED

Amid the reopening of in-person classes, ANAKALUSUGAN Party-list Representative Ray Florence Reyes renewed calls for a more aggressive COVID-19 vaccination to avoid possible surges and stop the spread of new variants.

“We need vaccination sites that are accessible to children as schools reopen, such as walk-in booths in schools themselves. Mere photo ops of random vaccination rollouts and sites to encourage an increase in inoculation will no longer work that much,” Rep. Reyes stated.

Data from the Department of Health showed that vaccination among 5–11-year-old kids remains low, with only 4.2 million being fully vaccinated. 

During President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s State of the Nation Address, he declared that no more lockdowns will be implemented. While this announcement is welcome and a huge boost to the economy, Rep. Reyes emphasized that the threat of COVID-19 remains.

Data from the Department of Health showed that vaccination among 5–11-year-old kids remains low, with only 4.2 million being fully vaccinated.  In March of 2022, only 9.7 million children aged 12-17 years old received their full doses. As of 2020, there were 31.17 million children aged 5 to 17 years old recorded.

In a bigger scale, a total of 71 million Filipinos have been inoculated, but only 16 million got their booster shots.

“It should be highlighted that vaccine efficacy wanes after six months, yet the numbers of boosted individuals aren’t even half of the fully vaccinated population. Many of our citizens, including industries, are still coping and struggling with the crippling impacts of this pandemic,” Rep. Reyes highlighted.

Recent reports have brought to light millions of doses sitting in cold storage facilities that have expired within the past few months. Two million doses in June. 27 million in July. According to former Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, 4 million more procured by the private sector, with an estimated amount of over five billion pesos have gone unused.

This prompted Rep. Reyes to submit House Resolution No. 00192 calling to investigate the gaps and loopholes besetting the government inoculation drive against COVID-19.

“These vaccines, I would like to emphasize, are wasted opportunities to ensure the health of Filipinos – chances we have lost in saving lives; resources we could have spent to save more,” Rep. Reyes stated.

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