MANILA — The Department of Health on Monday postponed the launch of "PinasLakas Bakunahang Bayan" in Luzon due to Typhoon Karding.
"Lahat ng launch activities sa [National Capital Region] at sa iba pang lugar sa Luzon na gagawin bukas, September 26, ay ipagpapaliban muna dahil sa masamang panahong dulot ng Super Typhoon Karding," the DOH said in a statement issued Sunday night.
According to a DOH memorandum, other regions "may proceed with their launch as scheduled upon the discretion of concerned executive committee members and regional directors".
Amid low uptake of booster shots, a special vaccination campaign against COVID-19 will be carried out on Sept. 26-30, with the government aiming to administer at least 5 million booster shots.
As of Sept. 18, some 2,708,323 individuals have received their first booster dose under the "PinasLakas" campaign, data from DOH showed.
Meanwhile, only 31,939 out of 1.07 million target senior citizens or those belonging to A2 category were given booster jabs under the program.
The Philippines rolled out its vaccination program against COVID-19 in March 2021, more than a year after it logged its first coronavirus case.
To date, around 72.9 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated. Of the figure, some 19 million have received their first booster dose, while almost 2.7 million have received their second booster shots.
On Sunday, the country logged additional 3,520 COVID-19 cases, raising the country’s tally to 3,938,203.
The new figures also brought the number of active cases to 35,399, which is the highest since August 20.
As of 5 a.m. Monday, Karding was spotted over over the coastal waters of Santa Cruz, Zambales. Moving at 30 kph, it is packing maximum sustained winds of 140 kph near the center with gusts of up to 170 kph.
Tropical cyclone wind signal number 4 is still in effect in the western section of Pangasinan and northern and central portions of Zambales.
Metro Manila is also under tropical cyclone wind signal number 1.