The government is “relentless” in its goal to achieve herd immunity from COVID-19 in order for Filipinos to have a “better Christmas” this year, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Thursday.
“Our declaration is we will have a better Christmas this year. That needs to be our target, that we will have a better Christmas,” Galvez told ANC in a mix of English and Filipino.
Galvez said the government’s goal of inoculating 50 to 70 million Filipinos this year is still achievable even though the vaccination program had been off to a slow start.
“Right now we’re really moving slow because we can’t vaccinate all our health workers at once. Somebody needs to man the hospital in case of adverse effects,” he said.
The 1,125,600 doses that have arrived in the country so far have been reserved for health workers, the top priority in the government’s vaccination campaign.
The Philippines expects to receive 2.3 million more doses from Sinovac and AstraZeneca this March and millions more doses in the coming months.
“We are relentlessly looking for a stable and steady supply… We [are] very ambitious that we can vaccinate more or less 70 million people,” Galvez said.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said the government will begin inoculating 450,000 people daily starting April to fast track herd immunity.
A total of 240,297 health workers have been vaccinated as of Tuesday. — Julia Mari Ornedo/RSJ, GMA News