President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday that he is confident that 50% of the country's around 109 million population will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before Christmas.
The President made the pronouncement with 23 million Filipinos already fully vaccinated. In Metro Manila, 77% of residents are already fully vaccinated.
"The challenge is now to further speed up our vaccination rollout, especially in the provinces, in the key cities and municipalities to achieve our target of at least 50% of the country’s target population by the end of the year," Duterte said in his Talk to the People.
"We are confident that the most, if not all, major cities in the country will be hit and even surpass this target before Christmas, sana (hopefully)," Duterte added.
The government initially targeted to fully vaccinate 70% of the country's 109 million population by December this year, but this has since been changed to 80% to 90% of the population before the May 9, 2022 national elections.
The COVID-19 vaccination for minors aged 12 to 17 is expected to start on October 15, with eight hospitals participating in the pilot run in Metro Manila, namely, National Children’s Hospital; the Philippine Heart Center; Fe Del Mundo Medical Center; Philippine Children’s Medical Center in Quezon City; Pasig City Children’s Hospital; Philippine General Hospital; Makati Medical Center; and St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig.
"Again, I would like to ask everyone to go out and get yourself vaccinated, regardless of the brand. This is not just for your own protection but also as it is part of your civic duty to protect others. Allow us to turn the page to get everyone back to normalcy," Duterte said.
"If we continue to ramp up the vaccination of our people, along with our consistent practice of [wearing] mask, hugas at iwas (washing hands and social distancing) and the gradual resumption of our economic activities, then we can hope for a better and truly merry Christmas," he added.
The Philippines on Monday logged 8,292 additional COVID-19 cases, raising the country's total case count to 2,674,814.
Of this number, 98,894 are active; 2,536,260 recovered; and 39,660 died. —KG, GMA News