The government must now administer more than 400,000 jabs daily to reach its target of giving COVID-19 booster shots to 23.8 million people by Oct. 8, which marks the first 100 days of the Marcos administration.
At the same time, Department of Health Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire told Dr. Samuel Zacate, newly appointed chief of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to streamline processes in his agency and to explore with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers the possible registration of their products for use in the Philippines, if the state of calamity is lifted.
At a press briefing, Vergeire said the government has so far fallen short of the daily targets of its booster campaign dubbed “PinasLakas.”
The DOH had earlier said the government needed to vaccinate 397,334 individuals daily for 60 days to achieve the target, but it has fallen short of this goal since the campaign started.
“For us to achieve 23 million by Oct, 8, it should have been 397,000 plus per day. But we only achieved 384,000 boosters from the day we launched the campaign until now, and we’ve only boosted 17,000 senior citizens daily,” she said in Filipino.
“So, for now we have adjusted our targets. For our senior citizens, so that we will reach 1 million plus by Oct. 8, we need to vaccinate 20,774 senior citizens per day until the end of Oct. 8. And we need to give 443,892 first booster shots per day until Oct. 8,” she said.
The DOH OIC said a total of 15,468 vaccination sites have been created for the “PinasLakas” campaign as of Aug. 4.
Vergeire said there were 5,484 mobile vaccination sites created—2,814 vaccination sites in schools, 1,458 in workplaces, 529 in places of worship, 335 vaccination sites in the different markets across the country, and 281 in transport terminals.
She added that there were also vaccination sites set up in hospitals, health care centers, and malls.
More than 71.8 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Aug. 5, she said.
Over 9.7 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 along with more than 4.2 million children aged 5 to 11 have been fully vaccinated in preparation for face-to-face classes, she said.
Vergeire said that if the state of calamity is lifted, manufacturers would need to have a certificate of product registration from the FDA so that their vaccines can continue to be used in the Philippines.
She also said the FDA must become more efficient and speed up their evaluation of products for use in the country.
The DOH recorded 4,621 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday, bringing the total caseload to 3,803,955.
Active cases also increased to 37,805 to 37,344 from Saturday.
The total number of COVID-related deaths in the country has reached 60,807 after the DOH reported 18 new deaths. Total recoveries are at 3,705,343.
The National Capital Region registered 15,140 new cases in the past two weeks, followed by Calabarzon with 10,005, Central Luzon with 4,960, Western Visayas with 2,709, and Central Visayas with 2,117.
The country’s bed occupancy rate stood at 29.2 percent on Friday, as the number of beds occupied was 8,388, while 20,371 were vacant, the DOH also said.
Some 71 million people have been fully vaccinated against the respiratory disease, of whom 16.2 million have received their booster shots.