Gov't to 'seriously' look at immunizing kids, general population
MANILA — The Philippines eyes administering 55 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in October and is "seriously" looking into opening the immunization drive to minors and the general population, officials said.
Government expects to take delivery of some 100 million COVID-19 shots next month, said vaccine "czar" Carlito Galvez Jr.
This will allow authorities to "open up more vaccination for other sectors, like the children and the adolescent," he said in a taped meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte that aired on Tuesday.
"Ito po ang ating target, we will administer at least 55 million plus doses. Puwede pa po itong umakyat 'pag nagkaroon po tayo ng mataas na capacity sa ating mga LGUs," Galvez added.
(This is our target, we will administer at least 55 million plus doses. This can still increase if the capacity of our LGUs climb.)
Authorities have administered some 44 million vaccine doses and hopes to raise this figure to 45 million before the end of September, he said.
Video courtesy of PTV
At least 20,307,122 people were fully vaccinated as of Sunday, Malacañang earlier said. The national target is 77.1 million.
About 7 million Metro Manila residents were among the fully immunized, representing about 71.86 percent of the capital region's target, the Palace said on Monday.
Galvez said authorities target to fully vaccinate 85 percent of the capital region's target population by the end of October.
Government will also try to inoculate half of target beneficiaries in other key cities next month, he said.
In line with this goal, authorities eye administering 500,000 to 800,000 jabs daily, added Galvez, who also serves as chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19.
"Ang critical po sa atin ngayon for the October and moving into the last 3 months of 2021, is 'yong pag-open up po natin [ng vaccination]," said Vince Dizon, deputy head of the task force.
(What is critical for us this October and moving into the last 3 months of 221 is the opening up of our vaccination.)
"We will already seriously look at opening up to the general population, especially in the major areas all over the country, and also, equally important is the opening up to the vaccination of our children," he added.
The Philippines, which is fighting one of Asia's worst coronavirus outbreaks, has confirmed some 2.4 million coronavirus infections, including about 37,000 deaths overall.