The Philippines will target administering 1 million COVID-19 shots in day, an official said on Monday, in response to Vice President Leni Robredo's call to speed up the vaccination drive while Metro Manila is under lockdown.
Robredo last week suggested ramping up the daily inoculation output to 750,000, along with other interventions, to help meet government's goal of making the capital region's current lockdown the "last ever."
"Mawalang-galang na po kay Vice Presidente Leni, pero in fact, hintayin po natin sa vaccine cluster... ang tatargetin po natin ay aabot na ng isang milyon," said National Task Force Against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon.
"Iyon ang target natin, it is more than the 750,000," he said in a Palace press briefing.
(With all due respect to Vice President Leni, but in fact, let us wait for the vaccine cluster. We will target 1 million. That is our target.)
Authorities last Thursday administered some 710,000 COVID-19 shots, the highest ever in a day since the immunization campaign started in March, noted Dizon, who is also the country's coronavirus testing czar.
"Ang panawagan po natin is, lahat tayo sana magtulung-tulungan na lang para maabot natin itong mga target na ito... Karera po talaga ito against the variant," he said.
(Our appeal is we should all help each other to reach this target. This is a race against the variant.)
The Philippines has administered at least 24.4 million COVID-19 shots, including 13,087,781 first jabs. At least 11,391,969 are now fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, Roque said.
The government aims to vaccinate up to 70 million people this year to achieve herd immunity and safely reopen the economy.
Asked whether or not government has a program for Filipinos who remain hesitant to get inoculated, Roque said, "Bahala na si COVID-19 sa kanila, kung ayaw nilang magpabakuna."
(COVID-19 will take care of them, if they do not want to get vaccinated.)
With around 1.6 million COVID-19 cases and more than 29,000 deaths, the Philippines has the second-worst coronavirus outbreak in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.