MANILA — The Philippines has fully immunized at least 14 million people against COVID-19, Malacañang said on Thursday, as the country sought to contain an uptick in infections linked to the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant.
Authorities in total have administered 34,112,320 vaccine doses, while 14,109,916 people have been fully vaccinated so far, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a press briefing.
A total of 20,002,404 have received their first dose.
Government aims to vaccinate up to 70 million people before the year ends to achieve herd immunity and safely reopen the economy.
While vaccine experts have yet to recommended the use of booster shots, government is seeking a P45-billion budget for vaccine top-ups next year.
"Pero sa ngayon po, andoon pa tayo sa pagbabakuna sa buong Pilipinas... Saka na po muna natin pag-usapan ang mga booster shots," Roque said.
(But for now, we are still at the stage of vaccinating the whole Philippines. Let's defer discussing booster shots.)
The Philippines passed the 2 million mark in coronavirus cases on Wednesday, a fifth of those recorded in the past month alone. Medical staff are overwhelmed and 103 of them have died during the pandemic, among some 33,500 coronavirus fatalities overall.
Authorities mull replacing broad quarantine restrictions with granular lockdowns to arrest the uptick in cases.
— With a report from Reuters