MANILA — The Philippines has administered over 18 million coronavirus vaccine shots, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said on Wednesday, adding that the country broke its daily inoculation target this week.
On Tuesday alone, authorities administered about 659,000 COVID-19 shots, said NTF deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon.
"For the first time po, nalampasan natin ang target natin na 500,000 [doses] sa isang araw," he said in a televised public briefing.
(For the first time, we surpassed our target of 500,000 doses in a day.)
This raised the total number of jabs given to 18,174,405, Dizon said.
A total of 6,838,403 Filipinos have received 2 vaccine doses, he said. Meanwhile, 11,336,002 have taken their first dose of the vaccine.
Video courtesy of PTV
The official attributed the inoculation milestone to higher confidence in vaccines and concern over the highly infectious COVID-19 Delta variant, local transmission of which was confirmed by the health department last week.
"Kailangan po talaga bilisan natin lalo ang pagbabakuna, lalo na sa mga area na mataas ang risk sa Delta variant," Dizon said.
(We need to further speed up our vaccination, especially in areas where the risk of the Delta variant is high.)
"Ang prinsipyo naman po natin lagi kung saan mataas and risk, doon po mas marami ang bakuna, so tuloy-tuloy pa rin po tayo doon," he added.
(Our principle is where the risk is high, that's where more vaccines will be, so we will continue with that.)
With some 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus infections, the Philippines has the second highest COVID-19 tally in Southeast Asia. Local transmission of the highly infectious Delta COVID-19 variant is threatening to spawn another wave of infections.