With just over a week left until the end of the year, the Philippine government is still pushing to reach its target of fully vaccinating 54 million individuals against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
According to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., this may be achieved through the use of the single-shot Janssen vaccine, which will immediately tag the vaccine recipient as fully-vaccinated.
“We are still pushing since we have the J&J available vaccines and we have 6 million due for second dosing,” Galvez told GMA News Online.
Though he is hopeful that the number of daily jabs administered will increase to over 1 million, Galvez said the closure of more than 1,000 vaccination sites due to Typhoon Odette will affect the target.
“[T]he closure of more of more than 1,644 vaccination sites in Typhoon Odette affected areas will adversely impact our targets by at least a third since most affected regions are located also in urban centers like Cebu and Iloilo,” he said.
At the Laging Handa briefing, the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) said the country administered 1 million doses on Tuesday, bringing the total number to around 5 million from December 15 to December 21.
Currently, over 45.2 million individuals have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Optimistic kami dito na maabot natin (we are optimistic that we can reach this). We are around 45 million so we have around 8 something million na kailangan habulin,” Dr. Kezia Lorraine Rosario of NVOC said.
“But with that we really would emphasize na kailangan kasi natin to ensure 'yung full vaccination ng ating mga kababayan with the threat of the Omicron variant. So we’re really working with the local government units,” she added.
Rosario also called on local governments to use the Janssen vaccines.
“Kasi available na ‘yung Janssen vaccines natin. Pwede natin i-push na magbakuna talaga sila for the Janssen,” she said.
(Because the Janssen vaccines are already available. We can push for its usage.)
“Plus, kung sino na 'yung due for second doses talagang balikan natin 'yung mga vaccination site. Even though holiday na ngayon pwede natin i-push na mabakunahan na tayo talaga with second doses,” she added.
(Plus, those who are eligible for second doses can go back to our vaccination sites. Even though it’s the holidays right now, we can push the administration of second doses.)—AOL, GMA News