MANILA (UPDATE)— The Philippines on Saturday morning received 1,279,000 Moderna COVID-19 shots the government procured as authorities aim to boost the country's vaccinations in the coming days.
The newly-delivered jabs arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 via China Airlines flight CI701 shortly before 10 a.m., state media said.
This raises the country's total vaccine deliveries to 123.25 million, data from ABS-CBN News monitoring showed.
Present during the ceremony were Wilben Mayor, head of the National Task Force Against COVID-19’s strategic communications on current operations; United States Embassy Political Councilor Kenneth Gardner; Health Undersecretary Ma. Carolina Vidal-Taiño; and Jannette Jakosalem, managing director of Zuellig Pharma Market.
The government will prioritize the fresh Moderna supplies to the pediatric and elderly sectors, Mayor said.
“We will have better a Christmas so ine-encourage natin, hinihikayat natin na ang lahat po ng ating mga kababayan ngayon ay magpabakuna na po. Napakarami po nating bakuna ngayon at wala po tayong problema sa bakuna,” he added.
(We are encouraging everyone to be vaccinated. We have a lot of vaccine doses and we don't have a problem with supply for now)
As of Thursday, the country has so far fully immunized 30.8 million individuals, while some 36.9 million are partially vaccinated.
The number of fully vaccinated individuals represents 40 percent of the target 77.1 million.
Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. had said they aim to administer boosters to health workers by mid-November.
The immunization of teens aged 12 to 17 years old, even those without health risks, began last week.
The government is also planning to mount a 3-day vaccination from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 to administer 15 million jabs.
-- Reports from Job Manahan and Michael Delizo, ABS-CBN News