Nat’l vax days reduce target; another 3-day drive set

Nat’l vax days reduce target; another 3-day drive set

MANILA – The National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 and the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) adjusted its target vaccination output for the National Vaccination Days due to a shortage in ancillary supplies, particularly syringes for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, and other logistical challenges.

From the original plan of administering 15 million doses during the “Bayanihan Bakunahan” from November 29 to December 1, the NTF and NVOC decided to administer nine million jabs or a daily national throughput target of three million doses following a series of consultations with the local chief executives of provinces, cities, and municipalities nationwide and resource management and logistics teams.

To achieve the goal of completely inoculating 54 million Filipinos by yearend, the NTF and NVOC set another three-day inoculation drive on December 15 to 17.

The Department of Health anticipated the volume requirement for syringes specifically for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, but the scheduled shipment of procured supplies made through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has been delayed due to the current global shortage, according to a joint statement of the NTF and NVOC on Saturday.

“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 statement read.

The Food and Drug Administration said either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines can be used for minors.

The US-made brands are also used as booster shots and third doses for health care workers, senior citizens, and immunocompromised individuals.

The “Bayanihan Bakunahan” will focus on increasing the coverage of the first dose to 70 percent and booster jabs, while the December 15 to 17 activities will administer second doses and more booster shots.

“The NTF and NVOC, along with our partners from all levels of government and the private sector, are committed to achieve our goal, and that is to have a better, merrier, and happier Christmas,” read the statement from NTF chief Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and Presidential Adviser for Covid-19 Response and NTF deputy chief Secretary Vince Dizon. “Again, we enjoin everyone to get vaccinated and be a hero to your family and loved ones.”

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