Gov't says full COVID-19 vaccination of 50M in PH possible by yearend

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 30 2021 02:43 PM

 College students of the Our Lady of Fatima University Pampanga are inoculated against COVID-19 in their campus on October 13, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
College students of the Our Lady of Fatima University Pampanga are inoculated against COVID-19 in their campus on October 13, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA— The government aims to fully inoculate 50 million individuals against COVID-19 by the end of the year as more vaccine shots arrive in the country, a government adviser said Saturday. 

In a public briefing, National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa said the country's vaccination rate continues to increase, noting that more than 700,000 shots were administered on Friday alone.

The Philippines has so far received over 100 million total virus shots this week. The country received 1 million more vaccine doses earlier in the day.

"Yes definitely, as of now, we have [administered] 58 million doses na sa ating mga kababayan, I think kalahati noon, more than half of that is 'yung fully vaccinated," Herbosa explained.

(We have administered 58 million doses so far and I think more than half of that number are those fully vaccinated from COVID-19)

"Pataas nang pataas ang rate natin, nasa 32 percent na tayo, so hopefully makukuha natin 'yung 50 percent fully vaccinated by the end of December," he added. 

(Our vaccination rate continues to increase. We are already at 32 percent, so hopefully we get to fully vaccinate at least 50 percent by the end of December.)

The 50 percent target, according to the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 earlier this week, represents the "low" threshold, but the "high target" remains at 70 percent.

Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje earlier said that the high target, covering some 77.1 million people, may only be reached in the first quarter of 2022.

On Monday night, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. also told President Rodrigo Duterte in a meeting that "more or less 50 percent" of the population may be vaccinated by the end of December.

To achieve this and to have a "safe" Christmas, Galvez said they aim to administer 1.5 million COVID-19 shots daily.

As of Thursday, the country has so far fully vaccinated at least 26.8 million individuals, while some 31.4 million are partially vaccinated from COVID-19. 

The number of fully immunized individuals in the country represent 34.75 percent of the 70 percent target, data from the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.


Herbosa emphasized that they are ramping up the country's vaccination program to other parts of the nation.

The problem now, he said, is the storage facility of localities for vaccines that require ultra-low temperatures. 

"In fact, ang problems natin, dahil most of the vaccines now ay Pfizer, Moderna, gagawa tayo ng system na just in time delivery," said Herbosa. 

(The problems we have now, because our vaccines are Pfizer and Moderna, we want to implement a system of just in time delivery)

"Kasi matindi ang requirements na cold chain nitong mga current vaccines that we are holding, hindi katulad dati na cold chain lang, ngayon we have ultra low temperature freezers, so the only solution we are finding are yung on time delivery," he explained. 

(The vaccines require ultra low storage, compared to other vaccines that only need cold chains. The only solution we are finding is the on time delivery)

Philippine authorities this month have expanded the country's inoculation program to include the pediatric population, or individuals aged 12 to 17.

The said sector numbers around 12.7 million individuals, according to the health department. 


Video from PTV​