JOINT EFFORTS. Health care workers and volunteers administer Covid-19 vaccines in Pudtol, Apayao on Monday (Nov. 29, 2021). Department of Health data showed Cordillera Administrative Region injected 36,489 doses during the first day of the nationwide vaccination drive, exceeding its 22,970 goal. (Photo courtesy of MLGU Pudtol, Apayao)

MANILA – Over 2.5 million doses of coronavirus jabs were administered on the first day of the government's "Bayanihan, Bakunahan" national vaccination drive, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Tuesday.

The 2,554,023 doses of vaccines administered on Monday were 2.5 times more than the country's average weekly rate of 900,000 to one million doses, DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, chair of the National Vaccine Operations Center, said at the virtual Laging Handa briefing.

She said it is one of the highest recorded doses injected in a single day worldwide, next to China’s 22 million, India’s 10 million, the United States’ 3.48 million, and Brazil’s 2.6 million.

Cabotaje thanked the government’s partners that joined the whole-of-nation effort to achieve population protection as soon as possible.

Based on initial data, Region 4A (Calabarzon) had the highest throughput with 366,711 jabs; followed by Region III (Central Luzon), 297,316; Region VI (Western Visayas), 192,216); Region VII (Central Visayas), 186,834; and Region V (Bicol), 165,259.

Region I (Ilocos) ranked sixth overall with 158,412 but was No. 1 in terms of accomplished target as it only aimed for 45,849 for 345.51 percent. 

Walk-ins allowed

Cabotaje said walk-in vaccinees are allowed during the three-day event.

"There have been reports that some who walked-in were not given vaccines," Cabotaje said, noting that it is one of the major challenges during the opening day.

"May direktiba na tayo na dapat 'yung walk-in, i-allow na. 'Wag pa-uuwiin yung mga nakapila na na hindi nabakunahan (We already issued a directive to allow walk-ins and avoid sending them home without being vaccinated)."

The others are the availability of pediatric vaccines and the need for bigger sites.

The 12-17 age group must be given either Pfizer or Moderna jabs.

(Screengrab from PTV4)

The delay in the submission and transportation of regional vaccination reports was due to the overwhelming work of local government units.

Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año lauded the start of the vaccination campaign.

"Maganda 'yung aming assessment dito kasi talagang dumagsa yung mga tao. Wala naman tayong nakitang mga issues at problem dun sa safety and security. So far, okay naman (We received good assessment because people trooped to vaccination sites. There were no issues or problems in safety and security. It’s okay so far)," Año said in an interview. (With a report from Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)