MANILA – The government’s target to fully vaccinate at least 54 million Filipinos by yearend is “doable” with more coronavirus vaccine deliveries arriving until December, an official of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 said Thursday.
The latest data from the National Covid-19 vaccination dashboard showed the Philippines has administered a total of 72,763,442 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, with 40,179,796 doses given as first shots and 32,581,158 as second shots. The average daily vaccination rate in the last seven days stood at 849,495 doses.
“Though supposedly, by the end of November dapat meron na tayong nakapag-first dose na 54 million and at the end of the year ‘yung 54 million na iyon ay dapat fully vaccinated na (Though supposedly, by the end of November, we should have at least 54 million individuals who have taken their first doses and at the end of the year, those 54 million individuals should be fully vaccinated),” NTF head of strategic communications on current operations, Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor, said as he welcomed the arrival of 609,570 doses of Pfizer jabs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City.
Mayor was joined by the Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Ma. Carolina Vidal-Taiño, DOH Director Ariel Valencia and US Embassy Public Engagement Deputy Attache Pauline Anderson.
The newly delivered shipment is part of the 1,219,410 Pfizer doses procured by the Philippine government through the funding support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The other half of these vaccines will be arriving on Friday night.
Mayor said the latest shipment brought the country’s total received Covid-19 vaccines to 129,053,970 doses, both procured and donations.
“So lahat ng regions nito ay bibigyan. Marami naman tayong recipients ngayon at ang Pfizer naman ay pwede nang mai-deploy kahit saan. So unang-una wala na tayong problema sa supplies, sa allocations (So all the regions will receive. We have many recipients and the Pfizer jabs can now be deployed everywhere. We don’t have problems on supplies and allocations),” he said.
As the country started giving booster doses to healthcare workers, Mayor cited the need to encourage more Filipinos to take the two primary doses.
Mayor urged anew the local government units to further scale up their vaccination campaign strategies, particularly those with low vaccine utilization rates.
NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. previously cited the need to address the hounding concerns on vaccine hesitancy, saying many are still misinformed about the Covid-19 vaccines.
“Marami talagang sa social media na nakikita natin na talagang maraming disinformation regarding sa safety and efficacy ng ating mga bakuna (A lot of people find much disinformation in social media regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccines),” he said.
Meanwhile, Mayor reported that at least 2,488 healthcare workers have received their booster dose since Wednesday.
The government targets to complete the administration of booster shots to at least 1.6 million healthcare workers by end-November and it will be followed other priority sectors.
The National Vaccine Operations Center (NVOC) currently crafting guidelines for booster vaccination of senior citizens, immunocompromised and persons with comorbidities.
Once final guidelines are done, Mayor said around five million senior citizens and 7.6 million persons may start receiving their third doses.
Mayor said all vaccines approved by the health authorities, regardless of brands, are “safe and effective.”
The government targets to fully vaccinate up to 77 million Filipinos to achieve population protection by end of the year. (PNA)