Government vax target: 77 million Pinoys by Q1

Jose Rodel Clapano - The Philippine Star
Government vax target: 77 million Pinoys by Q1
A teenage girl receives a BioNtech-Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during the inoculation of the population aged 12 to 17 at a stadium in San Juan City, suburban Manila on November 3, 2021.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — The government is targeting to fully vaccinate 77 million Filipinos by the first quarter of 2022, National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said yesterday as he assured the public of sufficient vaccine supply despite the shortening of intervals for booster shots.

He noted that as of Dec. 21, the country has received 192,344,945 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from different manufacturers. Given this supply, he said the country has enough to achieve the government’s target of fully vaccinating at least 54 million Filipinos by the end of the year.

Galvez laid out the government’s plan on how to sustain the national vaccination program and continue achieving its targets until next year, which include fully vaccinating 77 million Filipinos by the first quarter of next year, 90 million by the second quarter and the rest of the country’s population by the third quarter.

He also committed to continue prioritizing vaccinating the unvaccinated by deploying different strategies such as house-to-house and barangay-to-barangay vaccination.

“The barangay-to-barangay vaccination sites are really very effective. What General Santos did is that they made their 26 barangays as vaccination sites and they also have mobile vaccination sites. If we will just do it in malls, the vaccination site will only be in the mall where people sometimes cannot go. So, there is really a need to bring the vaccination sites down to the barangay,” he pointed out.

According to him, the country would continue to vaccinate the pediatric population, eventually to include those aged five to 11, as part of the government’s efforts to ensure the safe reopening of schools and resumption of face-to-face classes.

“I believe we can prevent Omicron (from spreading) if we will really massively vaccinate, particularly those in the A2 and A3 (categories) with our boosters,” Galvez said.

He urged local government units (LGUs) not to underestimate the threat of the Omicron variant and continue to strengthen their response and mitigation efforts.

“So our message is one, preparation is the key. We have to revisit the national government and LGU playbook. We have seen that Delta was defeated. We should look at the good that we have done to at least prepare for Omicron,” Galvez stressed.

Meanwhile, Galvez thanked yesterday the government of Germany as well as the COVAX Facility for continuing to support the Philippines’ vaccination program as he expressed gratitude to the Food and Drug Administration for granting emergency use authorization to Pfizer BioNTech vaccines, which can now be used for the inoculation of children aged five to 11 years against COVID-19.

The Philippines on Thursday received another 1,531,000 doses of Moderna vaccines donated by the German government.

“With the pandemic continuing, it’s very important to build on our strongest instrument which we have and it’s still the vaccination. The Philippines (has) a very good and well functioning vaccination program,” noted George Maue, economic counselor of the German embassy in an interview following the arrival of the vaccines.

“We congratulate the Philippines for that and we’re happy to provide another donation from Germany,” Maue added.

To date, more than 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines donated by Germany have arrived in the country.

UNICEF deputy representative for operations Thomas Meyerer reminded the public to strictly observe minimum public health standards to prevent local transmissions.

An additional 810,810 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines donated by the French government arrived on Wednesday evening.

“We’re happy today to stand with our Filipino friends and to be able to help this country in fighting the pandemic, the health crisis that we’ve all been fighting in the world for two years now,” said Fabrice Fize, first counselor of the French embassy.


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