The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday reminded the public to complete their second dose of COVID-19 vaccines as scheduled. This is following the reports that there are vaccine recipients who have missed their schedules for getting their second dose.

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.

“The reported missed schedules for 2nd dose are estimates and based on certain assumptions. According to the National COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center, actual numbers show that 9% of people have deferred their second dose, roughly 113,000 individuals, and the most common reasons for such deferrals include: getting sick, getting exposed to someone positive for COVID-19, or undergoing quarantine,” said DOH Spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire. This percentage goes down as the local government units reach out to these vaccine recipients and eventually end up getting the second dose.

These assessments from independent experts groups enable the government to triangulate and continuously validate data, to further improve the overall implementation of the national vaccination program. “What was presented was part of an independent assessment of the vaccine prioritization of the national COVID-19 vaccination program. It validated our prioritization criteria and showed that prioritizing the health care workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities will save lives as they are the most at risk for hospitalization and death caused by COVID-19,” added Undersecretary Vergeire.

Secretary Francisco T. Duque III 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,” Secretary Duque said.