Philippines vaccination ranks 3rd in Southeast Asia? PCOO shows partial data

April 5, 2021 - 6:04 PM
A health worker gets vaccinated with Sinovac Biotech's Coronavac on the first day of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) inoculation drive in the Philippines, at the Lung Center of the Philippines, Quezon City, Metro Manila, March 1, 2021. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez/File Photo)

Data from the recent announcement of the Presidential Communications Operations Office only partially shows the picture of vaccination data from Southeast Asia.

In a post last Friday, April 2, the PCOO Global Media Affairs shared an infographic where it supposedly showed that the Philippines ranked third in the vaccine rollout in the region as of March 30, 2021.

“LOOK: The Philippines ranks 3rd in ASEAN in the vaccination rollout with 738,913 doses administered from March 1 until March 30, 2021. Currently, the country is administering Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines,” read the post.

The agency, however, did not include the population of each country in the computation.

The infographic only showed the number of doses of vaccine administered per country where the Philippines placed third with 738,913, citing data from the Department of Health.

To get the whole picture of COVID-19 jabs in the region, the total number of doses administered should be computed against the number of people in each Southeast Asian nation.

Some Filipinos on Twitter called out PCOO over the misleading information and shared their corrected versions of it on the micro-blogging platform.

In their computations, the Philippines barely made it to the top three.

“Hire kayo ng statistician to do your statistics,” one user wrote.

“739K/110M = 0.67% palang ng kabuuang populasyon yan Kumbaga wala pa sa kalingkingan,” another wrote.

Some Filipinos compared it to data of other independent vaccine trackers such as Our World in Data and Financial Times.

In the FT’s tracker, Philippines had only vaccinated 0.7% of its population, as of March 30.

The country ties with Belarus, Myanmar and Guatemala.

Financial Times COVID-19 vaccination tracker

When compared with the rest of the countries in Southeast Asia, the Philippines lagged at fifth place with Laos at 0.3%, according to a table from the Earth Shaker Philippines on April 2.

The organization’s data source was Bloomberg’s Vaccination Tracker.

“This is our first release for this ASEAN vaccine tracker post and will be updating this once a week. We’re open to suggestions and comments to further improve our postings. Thank you!” the science organization said.

Data from Our World in Data’s tracker showed similar results. The country has provided COVID-19 jabs to only 0.67% of the population.

Our World in Data COVID-19 vaccination tracker

Other Filipinos criticized the PCOO for presenting incomplete information to the public.

“This administration talaga will do ANYTHING to mask their incompetence. Presenting the wrong data pa,” one user said.

“What do you do when the government is the number one fake news spreader?” another wrote.

The country continues to struggle in curbing the continuous surge of infections per day even a week after the enhanced community quarantine was re-implemented in the NCR Plus bubble, which comprises Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna.

As of April 5, the DOH reported 8,355 new cases which brings the total to 803,398.

Of these, there are 143,726 active cases, 646,237 recoveries and 13,435 deaths.