By Deighton Acuin


The Office of the Vice President (OVP) is “very much willing” to expand its “Vaccine Express” program in Visayas and Mindanao in order to gain access for COVID-19 vaccination.

“@RepRufus We are very much willing. Will ask our team to coordinate with yours” Robredo said in response to the statement of Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said the vaccination program must be directed in “areas of concern” in a bid to arrest the surge of COVID-19 infections.

He also cited the data released by independent research group UP-OCTA Research that several localities in Visayas and Mindanao are now placed as “areas of concern.”

“The vice president should include cities in Mindanao and Visayas such as Cagayan de Oro and Iloilo where COVID-19 cases are increasing, instead of Manila, which has already given so much vaccines to its residents,” Rodriguez said in his statement.

The lawmaker aired the statement after Robredo’s initiative was launched together with Manila City government to inoculate persons under A4 prioritization group or economic frontliners.

Through the initiative, Manila LGU has administered vaccine doses to more than 2,000 delivery riders and public utility drivers.

Moreover, Robredo and Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno said they are planning to bring the vaccination program to the city’s vendors.

To date, the country has received 14,205,870 doses. By the numbers, 9,000,000 doses from Sinovac Biotech, 2,556,000 doses from British firm AstraZeneca, 2,469,870 doses from Pfizer, and 180,000 doses from Russia’s Gamaleya Institute.

As of Tuesday, June 22, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 1,367,894 total coronavirus infections, 1,291,389 recoveries, and 23,809 deaths.

Meanwhile, as of June 21, 8,222,759 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country of which 6,102,625 individuals have received the first dose while 2,120,134 individuals have completed two doses.