MANILA — At least 10 million individuals will be fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus nationwide before Metro Manila returns to enhanced community quarantine this week, the National Task Force (NTF)Against COVID-19 said on Wednesday.
Authorities on Tuesday administered some 680,000 COVID-19 shots, the most jabs jabs given in a day since the inoculation drive started in March, said NTF deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon.
This raised the total number of vaccine doses administered to 21,891,012. The total includes some 9.8 million fully vaccinated individuals and around 12 million who have received one shot, he said in a televised public briefing.
"Kampante tayo, bukas na bukas, lagpas na pong 10 milyon ang kumpleto ang bakuna sa Pilipinas," Dizon said.
(We are confident that tomorrow, over 10 million will have completed their vaccination in the Philippines.)
This goal comes a day before Metro Manila, home to 13 million people, shifts to the toughest of 4 lockdown levels, the enhanced community quarantine, from Aug. 6 to 20.
The government aims to immunize 58 to 70 million people this year to safely reopen the economy.
Video courtesy of PTV
Experts have warned of an explosion in infections fueled by the Delta variant that could overwhelm hospitals in the coming weeks if restrictions are not drastically tightened in the crowded capital.
The Philippines has recorded more than 1.6 million coronavirus infections — the second highest in Delta-ravaged Southeast Asia —including nearly 28,000 deaths.
So far, it has confirmed more than 200 Delta infections, many of them local cases, and there are fears the more contagious strain could tear through the nation like it has in neighboring countries.
Metro Manila and surrounding provinces were last locked down in March as record infections pushed hospitals to their limit.
As new cases eased in July, the government lifted a ban on children aged 5 to 17 going outdoors for the first time since the start of the pandemic. But 2 weeks later it reimposed the stay-at-home order as authorities confirmed local transmission of the Delta variant.
— With reports from Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News; Agence France-Presse