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Philippines lowers vaccination drive target to 9M jabs amid syringe shortage

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Philippines lowers vaccination drive target to 9M jabs amid syringe shortage
A medical worker shows vials of BioNtech-Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during the inoculation of the population aged 12-17 at a stadium in San Juan City, suburban Manila on November 3, 2021.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — The government said Saturday it has adjusted the target for next week’s three-day vaccination drive to just nine million doses from the initial 15 million due to shortage in syringes.

In a joint statement, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 and the National Vaccination Operations Center said the government is now targeting to administer three million doses daily.

The three-day activity, which will focus on administering first doses and booster shots, is set from November 29 to December 1.

“As we are finalizing the preparations for this massive movement across the 16 regions outside Metro Manila, there is currently a shortage in ancillary supplies, particularly syringes for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines and other logistical challenges,” NTF and NVOC said.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine requires 0.3 ml syringes.

They added the scheduled shipment of procured supplies has been delayed “due to the current global shortage.”

“As we know, sufficient ancillary supplies for each of the vaccine brands is essential in the conduct of the National Vaccination Days, as a significant number of those who will be vaccinated will include the younger population or those aged 12 to 17 years old,” the two agencies said.

Only the vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are allowed to be used for minors.

Another vaccination drive

The government is targeting to fully vaccinate 54 million Filipinos in 2021. To help achieve this goal, there will be another three-day vaccination activity scheduled from December 15 to 17.

This will focus on administering second doses and boosters.

Latest data showed that over 35.39 million Filipinos have completed vaccination against COVID-19, while more than 45.05 million individuals have received partial protection.

COVID-19 PANDEMIC COVID-19 VACCINES
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