THE Department of Health (DOH) yesterday reminded the public to complete their second dose of COVID-19 vaccines as scheduled.
Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III issued the reminder following reports that there are vaccine recipients who have missed their schedules for getting their second dose.
Duque reassured that those who missed their scheduled second dose can still get vaccinated and reminded the public to complete the required doses for full protection against COVID-19, to protect not only themselves but also their loved ones.
“For our kababayans who missed their scheduled second dose, huwag kayong mangamba at maaari pa rin kayong makakuha ng inyong ikalawang dose. In fact, we urge you to coordinate with your LGUs to reschedule your vaccination. Makukuha lang natin ang proteksyon ng mga bakuna laban sa COVID-19 sa kumpletong doses,” he said.
The DOH further clarified that the data presented during the DOH Town Hall session on COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization, Masterlisting, and Registration were independent assessments by health experts and may differ from actual numbers being seen on the ground.
In a related development, Duque said the time is not yet right to lift the policy requiring the wearing of face shields in public areas, noting the Philippines’ low COVID-19 vaccine coverage so far.
This was after Manila Mayor Isko Moreno renewed appeals for the national government to stop requiring the use of face shields in public, saying it was high time to adjust pandemic policies.
“Okay ang mungkahi ni Mayor Isko kung malaki na vaccination coverage natin. Hindi pa pwedeng tanggalin ang face shield policy when our two-dose vaccination coverage is a little over 2% due to still inadequate vaccine supply,” he explained.
The Philippines has only vaccinated over 3.9 million people as of May 30, still far from the government’s target of inoculating 58 million individuals in COVID-19 hotspots by November.
The inter-agency COVID-19 task force made the use of face shields mandatory only in December last year.
Duque has repeatedly stressed that the use of face shields is backed by science, citing a study published in leading international medical journal The Lancet.
“There are many scientific studies showing that face shields in combination with face masks and more than 1 meter social distancing provide a greater than 95% protection,” he said.