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As Omicron penetrates the Philippines, an NTF executive urged Pinoys to get vaccinated.

Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor, the head of the National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF) strategic communications on current operations, urged all Filipinos to acquire their main injections and boosters to defend themselves against the new strain of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Mayor said the effectiveness of vaccines has been confirmed as the country currently logs reduced Covid-19 cases following the rise due to the Delta variety, during the arrival of vaccines donated by the governments of the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands on Wednesday.

“Vaccination is incredibly vital and effective, as we have observed and shown.” We had a significant number of cases in recent months, but we have witnessed a decrease in instances as a result of the immunization and the government’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign,” he stated in a media interview.

On Wednesday, the government delivered the most immunizations in a single day, totaling over 10.4 million doses.

The German government donated roughly 3.7 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, which was the largest vaccination delivery.

Following that, the Dutch government contributed almost 3.05 million doses of the Janssen vaccine, nearly 2.25 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine purchased by the private sector, and the UK government donated 214,500 doses.

“We pushed Filipinos, our kababayans, to be immunized, especially now that the Omicron variation is being reported in the Philippines.” It is imperative that we, as well as everyone else, be vaccinated,” Mayor stated.

He stated that the national government is stepping up vaccine efforts, especially because new strains have emerged since the pandemic began last year.

The country enforced lockdowns in March to deal with an increase in cases caused by the Alpha version, and another in August to deal with an increase in cases caused by the Delta variant.

The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed in November the discovery of a new Covid-19 strain called Omicron, which is thought to be more transmissible than the Delta variation.

According to statistics from OCTA Research Group Fellow Prof. Guido David, the novel strain has a reproduction number of 10 in countries having the Omicron variation.

However, when minimum public health standards are followed, the Omicron variant’s reproduction number drops to five, and then to one in locations where at least 80% of the population has been vaccinated.

The government plans to vaccinate 54 million Filipinos this year, according to Mayor.

More than 40 million Filipinos have been protected against Covid-19 to date.

He went on to say that this would be doable if vaccines were consistently available and delivered.

The country will receive 33 million vaccine doses before the end of the year, with a total delivery of 67 million doses in December alone.

The country has had more than 200 million doses of vaccine for this year since February.

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