Philippines eyes giving 7 million COVID-19 shots in second mass vaccination push

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 07 2021 12:36 PM | Updated as of Dec 07 2021 02:59 PM

Elderly residents and those with comorbidy receive their Covid-19 vaccines at the Sta. Ana Elementary school in Manila on Dec. 1, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Elderly residents and those with comorbidy receive their Covid-19 vaccines at the Sta. Ana Elementary school in Manila on Dec. 1, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

 

MANILA — The Philippines eyes administering 7 million COVID-19 shots during the second round of a mass vaccination drive next week, made more urgent by the specter of the heavily mutated Omicron coronavirus variant, the health department said on Tuesday. 

The first round of the Bayanihan, Bakunahan campaign inoculated at least 8 million of the 9 million target from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1. The program was later extended until Dec. 3, raising the total output to some 10 million jabs. 

Government has set the second round of the inoculation program on Dec. 15 to 17. 

"Ang tina-target natin dito, mga 7 million para second dose," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a televised public briefing. 

(We target here around 7 million people who need their second dose.)

Watch more on iWantTFC

Video courtesy of PTV

Since March, the Philippines has administered 91.7 million vaccine doses overall, including some 56.7 million first jabs, Duque told President Rodrigo Duterte in a taped meeting that aired earlier Tuesday. 

At least 38,168,603 people have completed their vaccination, representing 49.48 percent of the 77.1 million target population, said the health chief. 

Government eyes fully inoculating 54 million of the target population by the end of the year. 

"At naniniwala po kami… na kaya po natin maabot [ito]," Duque told the President. 

(We believe we can reach this.)

The Philippines has recorded 2.84 million COVID-19 cases and 49,499 deaths in total. 

Daily infections have fallen sharply to below 1,000 since Nov. 24, from a peak of over 20,000 in September, paving the way for a wider economic reopening. 

The country has not yet detected a case of Omicron, which the World Health Organization classified as a variant of concern. 

“I must urge you to get vaccinated. Because Omicron, when it arrives in the Philippines, will find every unvaccinated Filipino and you will get sick,” Microbiologist Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, a Dominican and fellow of the OCTA Research group, said during the meeting with Duterte.
 

— With reports from Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News; Reuters 

Watch more on iWantTFC