Over one million indigenous peoples (IPs) have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the NCIP.

A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a “Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine” sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken Oct. 30, 2020. (REUTERS file photo / Dado Ruvic)

MANILA, Philippines — Local governments should enact ordinances to support a “no vaccine preference policy” to discourage the public from having brand preferences, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the country’s vaccine manager, said in a statement issued Saturday.

Galvez said this is part of the government’s efforts to achieve 70 percent vaccination coverage of its target population of 54 million by the end of November.

“This will be a preview, as we push for mandatory vaccination, especially of those who are highly vulnerable and residents who live in high-density populations,” Galvez said.

Galvez also said the Department of the Interior and Local Government ordered local governments units to distribute COVID-19 vaccines in the “most expeditious manner.”

While vaccination of minors aged 12 to 17 was allowed, Galvez reminded local governments to give priority to individuals highly vulnerable to the disease, such as senior citizens and persons with comorbidities.

“We will incentivize LGUs with high accomplishments and give sanctions to those underperforming, especially in the distribution and administration of these life-saving doses,” Galvez said.

In a related development, the government is set to hold a National Vaccination Day in the last week of November in a bid to administer at least five million doses.

Meanwhile, 37,355,164 individuals — or 48.43 percent of the target population — have received at least one dose as of Nov. 4.

The government has also administered a total of 62,474,334 jabs nationwide, bringing the total of fully vaccinated individuals to 28,718,856 or 37.23 percent of the country’s target population.

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ATM

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