The Department of Health announced Monday that a special vaccination campaign against COVID-19 will be carried out from Sept. 26 to 30 to administer at least 5 million booster shots.
DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the inoculation will be conducted simultaneously nationwide, focusing on regions with low vaccine coverage.
“We have computed that if we make an intensive effort during this campaign, we can be able to achieve at least 5 million to 21 million (booster shots),” she said in a press briefing.
The DOH is already in talks with local governments, medical societies, and stakeholders for the special week of vaccination.
Vergeire also clarified that the DOH has not given expired COVID-19 booster shots, citing that the shelf life of some vaccines has been extended by their manufacturers.
“Everybody knows about this because when these vaccines were expiring already, we coordinated with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) so they can coordinate with manufacturers to determine if the shelf life can be extended,” she said.
In other developments:
• The Philippines has logged some 656 additional cases of highly contagious offshoots of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, the DOH said Monday.
• The Philippines recorded a total of 17,145 new COVID-19 cases from August 29 to September 4, a 10 percent lower tally than the cases reported the previous week, the DOH said.
• The observance of minimum public health standards in schools during the resumption of face-to-face classes has yielded good results so far, the DOH noted.
The Philippines rolled out its vaccination program against the coronavirus in March 2021, more than a year since it logged its first COVID-19 case.
On July 26 this year, the government launched “PinasLakas,” with hopes of administering 23 million shots by Oct. 8 or within the first 100 days of the Marcos administration.
So far, over 2.25 million out of 23 million eligible people have received the first booster shots, and only 26,6268 senior citizens out of the 1.07-million target have been vaccinated under the “PinasLakas” campaign.
More than 72.6 million people in the country are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Of this, 18.2 million have received their first booster dose while 2.3 million have gotten their second booster shots.