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Gov't revises target for National Vaccination Days, eyes 9M jabs instead of 15M

The National Task Force Against COVID-19 and the National Vaccination Operations Center on Friday said they have adjusted their target vaccination output for the three-day National Vaccination Days, eyeing nine million jabs instead of 15 million.

This would mean a target of 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered per day during the "Bayanihan Bakunahan" from November 29 to December 1.

The NTF and the NVOC said they adjusted the target after consulting local chief executives of provinces, cities, and municipalities, as well as their resource management and logistics team.

The two agencies said the adjustment was needed given a shortage in ancillary supplies, particularly syringes.

"As we are finalizing the preparations for this massive movement across the 16 regions outside Metro Manila, there is currently a shortage in ancillary supplies, particularly syringes for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines and other logistical challenges," NTF Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and Presidential Adviser for COVID-19 Response and NTF Deputy Chief Implementer Secretary Vince Dizon said in a joint statement.

"While the Department of Health has already anticipated the volume requirement for syringes specifically intended for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, the scheduled shipment of the procured supplies made through UNICEF have been delayed due to the current global shortage," they added.

"As we know, sufficient ancillary supplies for each of the vaccine brands is essential in the conduct of the National Vaccination Days, as a significant number of those who will be vaccinated will include the younger population or those aged 12 to 17 years old," they further said.

Currently, the Food and Drug Administration has only approved COVID-19 vaccine brands Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna for minors. The same vaccine brands are also used for booster shots and third doses for healthcare workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities.

Another 3-day vax sked

Meanwhile, the NTF and NVOC said another three-day National Vaccination Days will be held from December 15 to 17.

This is to help the country reach the government target of fully vaccinating 54 million Filipinos by the end of the year.

"The Bayanihan Bakunahan on November 29 to December 1 will primarily focus on increasing the Philippines' coverage of the first dose to 70% and increase the booster jabs, while the December 15 to 17 activities will be focused on administering the second dose and boosters," the NTF and NVOC said.

Both agencies said they, along with their partners in the government and private sector, "are committed to achieve our goal, and that is to have a better, merrier, and happier Christmas." —KG, GMA News