The government is ready to roll out its three-day national vaccination drive today, Nov. 29, even though it needs 51,000 more volunteers, a spokesman for the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) said Sunday.
In an interview with radio dzBB, NTF spokesman Restituto Padilla Jr. said preparations were going well for Monday's rollout.
He said more volunteers were needed to man 6,000 vaccination sites and 5,000 other sites that might be added.
Padilla said the Department of Health said it needed another 51,000 volunteers, on top of the 18,000 who have confirmed their participation.
The NTF on Friday lowered their target vaccination output for the three-day vaccination drive, from 15 million to 9 million due to a shortage of syringes.
There will be another drive in December to reach the target of fully vaccinating 54 million people by the end of the year.
The Philippines logged 838 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 2,831,807.
There were 156 new fatalities reported, bringing the COVID-19 death toll to 48,361.
The DOH also reported 1,217 new recoveries, bringing the total recoveries to 2,766, 816.
There were 16,630 active cases, of which 47.8 percent were mild, 7.1 percent were asymptomatic, 6.5 percent were critical, 15.2 percent were severe, and 23.36 percent were moderate.
The COVID-19 positivity rate was at 2.4 percent. The country's total COVID-19 tests were 34,241, conducted on Nov. 26.
Nationwide, 27 percent of ICU beds, 26 percent of isolation beds, 16 percent of ward beds, and 16 percent of ventilators, were in use.
In Metro Manila, 27 percent of ICU beds, 24 percent of isolation beds, 23 percent of ward beds, and 20 percent of ventilators, were in use.
Meanwhile, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said he is aiming to open COVID-19 booster shots to fully vaccinated government workers and economic frontliners or those under the A4 category in December.
Galvez also said a second vaccination drive from Dec. 15 to 17 would be for second doses, and possibly boosters for government workers and economic frontliners.
Galvez said the country reached a milestone Saturday with 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered.
Data from the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) indicated that as of Nov. 26, Friday, 80,613,849 vaccine doses were administered nationwide.
Of the number, 35,391,519 Filipinos are now fully vaccinated, 45.88 percent of the country’s target population, while 45,056,508 individuals have received a first dose.
On Nov. 26, 1,010,869 doses were administered nationwide.
Galvez said this showed that the government has made headway in its fight against the virus.
“We are determined to end this pandemic and bring back a greater sense of normalcy to the lives of our countrymen,” he said.
“As we move closer to hitting our target of fully vaccinating 54 million Filipinos by the end of the year, I appeal to our local government units to continue ramping up their vaccination output,” he said.
Galvez also reported that vaccine deliveries in the country continued to arrive.
As of Nov. 27, the Philippines has received a total of 141,606,240 COVID-19 doses since February.
This included the 5,225,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines donated by the UK government through the COVAX facility, which arrived in three separate tranches this week.
The figure also included the 1,219,140 doses of Pfizer vaccines bought by the national government, which arrived on Friday and Saturday.
Also on Sunday, DOH Calabarzon Regional Director Ariel M. Valencia said all preparations were going well for the three-day national vaccination days from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, 2021.
“Together with the local government units, our target is to vaccinate 1 million a day. We have a total of 174 vaccination teams strategically located in various provinces where people can get their vaccine," he added.
Valencia also emphasized that all brands of vaccines are safe.
"Let us not choose the brand of vaccines because they are all safe to use," he said.
The Quezon City government, meanwhile, aims to vaccinate 150,000 people during the three-day national vaccination day from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.
Those to be prioritized are all unvaccinated minors from 12 to 17 and adults. The city government will also administer booster doses to members of the health-care workers under A1, senior citizens under A2 and immunocompromised ones under A3.
The city will use its current supply of AstraZeneca vaccines for the three-day effort.
Special sites shall be put up in malls, such as SM North Edsa Skydome, Eastwood City, Robinsons Magnolia, Waltermart North Edsa, SM Fairview, SM Novaliches, Fairview Terraces, Fisher Mall and Crossroad Parkway Mall.
Vaccination would also be done in SMART Araneta Coliseum and Elements at Centris. The fast-food chain McDonald’s has also provided several branches as sites for pediatric vaccination, QC Task Force Vax to Normal coordinator Dr. Malou Eleria said.