The Department of Health launched today a stronger nationwide booster vaccination campaign. Dubbed “PinasLakas”, it aims to increase the number of Filipinos who have been given a COVID-19 booster shot, to help maintain the country’s wall of immunity. As of July 26, 2022, 15,975,337 Filipinos have been given the first booster shot. Meanwhile, 1,232,816 individuals, mostly belonging to the vulnerable population (healthcare workers, senior citizens, and the immunocompromised), have received their second booster dose.

Government agencies, the private sector, and international leaders came together to celebrate the campaign launch at an event held at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX). Present were DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire, Officer-in-Charge Undersecretary Beverly Lorraine Ho, and Assistant Secretary Nestor Santiago Jr. The campaign was also simultaneously launched across the country with DOH Centers for Health Development (CHDs) in the country’s regional centers. In coordination with their local government units (LGUs), launch sites include schools, malls, plazas, and places of worship where people can walk-in to get their must-needed COVID-19 booster shot.

“We are all connected by a shared goal – the national agencies, our local government counterparts, our private sector partners, civil sciety and development partners – to deliver safe effective and accessible vaccines for all Filipinos. Ngayon plano natin na mas paigtingin ang ating hakbang sa pagkakaisa ng iba’t ibang sector ng ating lipunan at mas pinalakas na kapasidad ng ating  local implementers. We are launching the PinasLakas today, which expresses the collective effort of the Filipino community to be vaccinated for a common cause. We in the DOH commit to vaccinating our fellow kababayans to maintain our wall of immunity towards our goal of having a healthier and safer Pilipinas,” said Assistant Secretary Nestor Santiago, National Vaccination Operation Center (NVOC) Incident Manager.

Sharing in the commitment to increasing nationwide vaccine efforts are the Office of the President, through the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Department of Transportation (DOTr) as well as the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and media partners. Medical societies, association of colleges and universities, and also the local government unit (LGU) officials of Parañaque headed by Mayor Eric Olivarez, showed their support to the event.

The PinasLakas campaign is the Marcos administration’s way of boosting the country’s vaccine programs, so that progress towards a more health-conscious and safer nation is assured. Plans to build a vaccine institute are underway, as mentioned by President Marcos in his State of the Nation Address yesterday. With these efforts, combating the COVID-19 virus and other vaccine-preventable diseases will be easier for the country. As vaccines remain to be the best long-term solution to the pandemic, the DOH continues to encourage every Juan and Juana to get vaccinated as vaccines are proven to be safe and effective against the virus.

“To reach our targets, we are committed to making vaccines easily accessible to all. We are all grateful for the reopening of our markets and schools, and we should remember that we are able to reopen because of the life-saving benefits of our vaccines,” shared DOH Officer-in-Charge Secretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire.