PREPARATION. Medical workers Mariene Encabo (left) and Leah Arribe prepare the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine at a mall inoculation site in Dasmariñas City, Cavite on Wednesday (Sept. 22, 2021). At least 571 from different priority categories were inoculated with their second doses. (PNA photo by Gil Calinga)

MANILA – Covid-19 vaccine doses are being delivered to the country at a more consistent pace in recent weeks, resulting in 43,464,197 doses administered nationwide as of Friday.

Still, the turnout is not as high as the government wants it to be, noting that vaccine hesitancy remains an issue, particularly among the elderly in both far-flung and densely populated communities.

Data from the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 showed that of the fully vaccinated individuals nationwide as of September 24, a total of 2,242,931 are healthcare workers (A1); 433,396, senior citizens (A2); 6,282,480 adults with comorbidities (A3); 5,307,222, essential front-liners (A4); and 1,770,301, indigents (A5).

Among the first-dose recipients are 2,533,544 from A1; 3,522,588, A2; 5,8847,346, A3; 8,895,442, A4; and 2,718,947, A5.

"Despite opening the vaccination program to this priority group (A2) in April, the turnout has remained low compared to the NTF’s earlier projections," NTF chief Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said in a previous interview.

There is a need to address vaccine hesitancy as there are emerging variants of the coronavirus disease that will pose threats to the country's economic recovery, he added.

In a previous statement, he praised the Department of Health and local government units for being proactive in promoting vaccination and clamping down on misinformation.

The business sector is also helping the government urge more to get Covid-19 jab shots through incentives like discounts and shopping rewards.

To date, the Philippines has received 66,699,340 doses of Covid-19 vaccines of various brands. (PNA)