MANILA - The Philippine government is considering a 3-day vaccination drive in a bid to achieve a "merry Christmas," the country's vaccine czar said Thursday.
Government aims to inoculate some 5 million individuals during the "National Vaccine Day" program, according to Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
It also aims to "acclimatize" towns and provinces to massive inoculation drives, Galvez said.
"Parang (It will be like) election day. We will stop on that day and lahat ng ating (all our) available healthcare workers, pediatricians, and dentists they will gather just to do the inoculations. All the agencies and private sector pull in their resources," he told ANC's Headstart.
"Ang initial coordination kahapon, more or less 3 consecutive days para nandun ang tinatawag nating momentum," he added without mentioning dates.
(The initial coordination yesterday, we will do it in more or less 3 consecutive days.)
The Philippines aims to vaccinate 50 million individuals by yearend to reach its target of inoculating 70 percent of its population, according to Galvez.
"Gagawin natin vax to the max na tayo. At the same time magkakaroon na tayo ng house to house and also ang gagawin natin is by clustering," he said.
(We will do 'vax to the max.' At the same time we will conduct house to house and vaccination by clusters.)
"Ang target natin ngayong November 15 million to 20 million. Kung makuha ang 20 million this month kayang-kaya natin ang more than 50 million."
(Our target this month is to inoculate 15 million to 20 million. If we can achieve 20 million this month, we can inoculate more than 50 million.)
Government will also begin this month administering third doses and booster shots to priority sectors, Galvez said.
It is just waiting for the recommendation of the World Health Organization's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts and the amendment of emergency use authorizations to include third doses or booster shots, Galvez added.
The country on Wednesday began the vaccination of all children aged 12 to 17, regardless of their health status.
Of 108 million vaccines that the country received, it still has 46 million in storage, according to Galvez.
"'Yung darating ng November and December it will be our stock for the first quarter. Kokonti lang ang expiring ng November," he said, noting that these have already been deployed.
(The supply we will receive this month and in December will be our stock for the first quarter. Only a few vaccines are expiring in November.)
Galvez believes the Philippines will have a "happy Christmas this year."
"Once we increase our capacity and vaccinate, at the same time iobserve ng ating kababayan ang minimum health standards and cases continue going down, I believe magkakaroon tayo ng merry Christmas," he said.
(Once we increase our capacity and vaccinate, at them same time the public observes minimum health standards and cases continue going down, I believe we will have merry Christmas.)
The Philippines has so far fully vaccinated 27.7 million individuals, while 32.7 million have received an initial dose as of Tuesday, according to government data.
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