The government will extend until Friday the inoculation of the elderly against COVID-19 under the fourth run of the national vaccination days, a health official said Tuesday.
Vaccination of the general population for first doses and booster shots was also extended until Tuesday morning, said Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, head of the National Vaccination Operations Center.
The fourth run of the Bayanihan Bakunahan Program was originally scheduled from March 10 to 12 only.
The government has administered 1.4 million doses out of its target 1.8 million jabs for the fourth Bayanihan Bakunahan, as of Monday, Cabotaje said.
Based on the National COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard, as of March 9, some 6.48 million people aged 60 and above have been fully vaccinated against the respiratory disease, while more than 5.15 million others have received their first dose.
More than 1.87 million booster doses have also been administered to the sector.
Rajendra Yadav, acting WHO Representative to the Philippines, recently underscored the need to focus on vaccinating some. 2.4 million older adults who, according to him, have not yet received even a single shot.
“Vaccinating the elderly must be an absolute priority as they are athigh risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19. Other high-risk groups include healthcare workers, other essential frontline workers, immunocompromised individuals, and people with comorbidities,” Yadav and Sangjun Moon, also of WHO Philippines, said in a statement last March 11.
More than 64.5 million people in the country have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as of March 13, the Department of Health said Monday.
Over 11.1 million booster doses in total have also been administered.
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved the emergency use authorization (EUA) of the Sinovac vaccine for the COVID-19 vaccination of minors aged 6 and above, the Department of Health said Tuesday. (See full story online at manilastandard.net)
Cabotaje said the government would monitor this as the EUA of Sinovac indicated that the vaccine is for “healthy children.”
In related developments, the Philippines has received 868,140 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
The vaccines were procured by the Philippine government through the World Bank, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said.
These will be for minors aged 12 years old and above.
The vaccines were flown in via DHL Express Flight LD456 that arrived past 9 p.m.
Earlier this month, the Philippines also received Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses for children:
• March 4: 804,000 doses for children aged 5-11 years old;
• March 9: 1,056,000 doses of reformulated Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
for the pediatric age group and 128,700 doses for adults;
• March 10: 1,056,000 doses for children;
• March 11: 1,080,000 doses for children aged 5-11 years old; and
• March 12: 1,032,000 doses for children aged 5-11 years old.
The rollout of COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 years old in the country started in the National Capital Region last
Based on data from the National Vaccination Operations Center, a total 138,820,024 vaccine doses have been administered nationwide as of March 13.
At least 63,118,647 first doses have been administered, while 64,540,840 Filipinos have been fully vaccinated and 11,160,537 individuals have received their booster shots.
The national government aims to fully immunize 70 million Filipinos by population protection.
National Task Force against COVID-19 chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. noted that under the new normal, it was the people’s responsibility to ensure that the country’s health situation will continue to improve by observing minimum public health standards.