QUEZON CITY, (PIA) -- The Philippine government achieved its target of fully vaccinating 70 million Filipinos against COVID-19, within 15 months after the National Vaccination Program was launched.
In the latest report of the National Vaccination Operations Center as of June 17, a total of 70,005,247 individuals, or 77.78 percent of the target population have completed their primary series.
Of the total, 14,704,514 have availed of the first booster shot while 648,555 have the second booster dose.
To date, only the elderly, medical front-liners, and immunocompromised adults (with cancer, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome, taking immunosuppressants, or organ transplant recipients) are eligible for the second dose.
Out of the 153,013,072 doses administered, 74,813,407 have received at least one dose.
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer, said the milestone is a testament to the administration’s commitment to protect as many Filipinos as possible from the fatal effects of COVID-19.
“As promised, we reached the target of 70 million fully vaccinated individuals. The NTF thanks our health care workers, volunteers, and everyone who made the vaccination program a success,” Galvez said in a statement on Saturday.
“This is our parting gift to the next administration. We hope that our new leaders will also prioritize our vaccination program and continue to build an immunity wall among our people,” he added.
Galvez is confident that the high vaccination rate, coupled with the continued compliance with health protocols, can prevent another surge of infections.
“We have had many superspreader events in the past months, including the national elections, but we still managed to keep our new COVID-19 cases low because of our high vaccination rate,” he said, while stressing continued wearing of face masks, physical distancing, and frequent washing of hands.
The government’s pediatric vaccination likewise continues to gain momentum, with 3,217,367 children aged 5 to 11 already fully vaccinated.
Under the 12 to 17 bracket, 9,487,745 have already received their full doses.
Galvez renewed his call to the public to get their booster shots as soon as they are eligible to strengthen the protection provided by the primary doses, which wane over time.
Frontline health care workers and senior citizens can take their second booster shot four months after their first booster dose, while immunocompromised adults have to wait for three months after their first booster shot. (PIA-NCR)