Gov’t eyes meeting 2021 vax target this week
MANILA, Philippines — The government will reach its COVID-19 vaccination target for last year in the first week of January, an official from the National Task Force against COVID-19 said Monday.
The government failed to reach its already lowered goal of fully vaccinating at least 54 million Filipinos by the end of 2021. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said the target could have been reached if not for Typhoon Odette (Rai), the most destructive cyclone that hit the country last week.
data from the government showed that 49.85 million people have completed inoculation against COVID-19 since March. Meanwhile, 57.15 million individuals have received partial protection.
Over 1.84 million have received booster shots.
“We are pushing and we are confident that we will achieve the 54 million target in the first week of January,” NTF deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon said in Filipino.
“We know the struggles that various regions faced, especially [Central Visayas, Western Visayas], and other parts of Mindanao due to Typhoon Odette. So we need to cope with that,” he added.
According to Dizon, the government is also targeting to fully vaccinate 70 million people by the end of February or early March.
Officials are calling on the unvaccinated to get jabbed against COVID-19 as the country sees a renewed increase in infections that is believed to be driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
The Philippines reported Monday 4,084 additional infections, bringing the total number of active cases to 24,992. — Gaea Katreena Cabico
A new thread on the Philippines' vaccination program in 2021 in the government's revised objective to reach "population protection." (Main image: The STAR/Michael Varcas, file)
Starting December 1, the vaccination of employees required to work on-site will be mandatory in the public and private sector in areas with sufficient COVID-19 jabs supply.
"However, eligible employees who remain to be unvaccinated may not be terminated but they shall be required to undergo regular RT-PCR testing, or antigen tests, at their own expense," Malacañang says.
The Philippine government is targeting to administer at least 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of November, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. says.
The government aims to achieve 1 million to 1.5 million jabs per day starting November 20.
To achieve this, Galvez says about 4,000 to 5,000 vaccination sites would be activated, including malls, universities, schools, gyms, camps and function halls of different government agencies.
The Philippine government will start the full rollout of COVID-19 vaccination among minors aged 12 to 17 on November 5.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire says the guidelines are being drafted.
The Health Technology Assessment Council of the Department of Health recommends the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for healthcare workers by fourth quarter of this year.
The council also recommends rolling out booster shots among eligible priority groups by next year.
HTAC says the recommendations are offered "in consideration of sufficient vaccine supply and acceptable coverage for primary vaccination."
Another 2.1 million doses of Moderna and more than 661,100 doses of Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccines arrive at NAIA Terminal 1 on Friday morning.
The Moderna vaccines are procured by the government while the Astrazeneca jabs were bought by the private sector.
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