MANILA— Some 19 million Filipinos are due for their COVID-19 booster shots, the National COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center said Wednesday.
The development comes after the Food and Drug Administration shortened the interval of booster jabs and second doses for all Filipinos aged 18 and above to 3 months from 6 months.
The country has enough supply of vaccines at an estimated 192 million doses, said Dr. Kezia Lorraine Rosario, a member of NVOC.
"We still allow na pumili sila ng kanilang preferred brand, pero we advise kung ano ang available sa vaccine site kunin na nila," she said during a virtual public briefing.
As of Tuesday, local governments have administered 5,056,186 doses as part of the second run of the "National Vaccination Days" which began on Dec. 15, according to Rosario.
Some areas will hold their vaccination drive on Dec. 27 to 29 following postponement due to Typhoon Odette, officials earlier said.
"We prefer pa rin na they do the response and recovery po sa areas ng Siargao at Dinagat Islands," Rosario said.
(We prefer that authorities focus on response and recovery in Siargao and Dinagat Islands.)
"In evacuation centers, kung pwede natin ma-supplement ang ating services with vaccination it is well and good. However, kung lacking naman ang manpower, we prefer that all the efforts will be towards the response and recovery po of all areas of Region 7 (Central Visayas)."
(If services in evacuation centers can be supplemented with vaccination, it is well and good. However, if manpower is lacking, we prefer that all the efforts will be towards the response and recovery of all areas of Region 7.)
The NVOC remains optimistic it would reach its target of 54 million fully vaccinated individuals by yearend, Rosario added.
"We already provided our LGUs with new targets until the end of the year to ensure that we can provide full vaccination to all our constituents," she said.