By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon expressed serious concerns
about the high percentage of people who did not return for their
second dose of COVID-19 vaccines, saying it could undermine the
country’s vaccination program.
Drilon likewise hit the government’s sluggish vaccination program with
only 1.2 million Filipinos who completed their first and second doses
as of June 2, putting the government far short of its target to
vaccinate at least 70 million of the population.
“The government must ramp up its vaccination drive and increase its
daily vaccination rate. Because, at the rate it is going now, I do not
see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Drilon said.
“The government must remember that our economic recovery depends
largely on our ability to inoculate at least 70 percent of our
countrymen as effectively and as fast as we can,” said Drilon.
The World Bank recently downgraded its Philippine economic forecast to
4.7 percent from the previous forecast of 5.5 percent due to the
rising COVID-19 cases and the reimposition of stricter community
Out of over 4,003,776 who received COVID-19 vaccines since the country
began its inoculation program late February, only 1,244,582 completed
the required two doses, Drilon said citing the report submitted by the
IATF to the Senate as of June 2.
Drilon said that translates to roughly 30 percent, leaving 70 percent
who have yet to receive their second dose.
“The government needs to ensure that people return for their second
dose. The IATF has to intensify its information drive and innovate in
order to get people to complete their doses,” Drilon said.
Drilon said the high number of people who have not returned for second
doses could undermine the success of our inoculation program against
“How many of the 70 percent actually skipped their second vaccine
dose? If we do not convince them to complete their doses, it will be
detrimental to the success of our COVID-19 vaccination program. We
will not achieve herd immunity at this rate,” he stressed.
“Complete your vaccine. Don’t skip your second shot,” Drilon appealed
Drilon also expressed concerns that only 20 percent of senior citizens
and people with comorbidities were inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines
since the rollout of the government’s vaccination program in March.
Dr. John Wong, a health expert, recently said that the government
missed its target of inoculating senior citizens and people with
comorbidities as the government has vaccinated only 1.3 million out of
9.4 million senior citizens and 1.1 million out of 14.5 million people
with comorbidities since the start of the inoculation drive in