Most of the country’s population is expected to be vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by the end of the year, thanks to the expected arrival of more vaccine doses as well as the start of general public inoculation this October, President Duterte said.
The Philippines, which has a population of 110 million people, is eyeing to raise its vaccination rate from the current 28 percent to at least 50 percent by December.
“For the last quarter, we are confident that we can fully vaccinate more than a majority of our population before Christmas. I therefore, again, encourage our kababayans to have yourselves vaccinated,” Duterte said during his “Talk to the People” public briefing on Monday, Oct. 4.
The Chief Executive expressed confidence in reaching the vaccination target before Christmas, especially now that the country has received 77.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from various manufacturers.
Of this number, 46.2 million has been administered nationwide, he noted.
“This will further strengthen by our opening of the vaccination for the general population starting this month,” Duterte said.
With a bigger supply of COVID-19 vaccines on hand, the country’s pamdemic task force has also announced that it will start vaccinating minors aged between 12 and 17 years old on Oct. 15.
The pilot run will begin in Metro Manila in six hospitals: Philippine Children's Medical Center, National Children's Hospital, Philippine Heart Center, Pasig City Children's Hospital, Fe Del Mundo Medical Center, and Philippine General Hospital.
“By October this year, we hope that we will be able to fully inoculate 35 of the country's target population with the end goal of reaching at least 50 percent by year-end, he said.
“We're also targeting to administer at least 50 million doses by the month’s end,” Duterte added.
The President made a call to concerned agencies, local government units, and stakeholders to “work together to make sure that our vaccination program proceeds as quickly and as problem-free as possible".