Target achieved at last! 54M Filipinos now fully-vaxxed vs COVID-19

More than 54 million Filipinos have now been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), setting up a new milestone in the country’s national vaccination program.

A woman receives a shot of COVID-19 vaccine in a vaccination event in Taguig City. (Screenshot from Taguig LGU livestream)

The National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 announced Friday, Jan. 14, that it finally achieved its vaccination target for 2021 to fully inoculate 54 million individuals.

As of Jan. 13, data from the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) showed a total of 54,457,863 individuals have been fully vaccinated against the dreaded illness.

This represents 70.60 percent of the 77.13 million population that are eligible to get the life-saving jabs.

Meanwhile, around 58 million individuals have received their first dose while 4.4 million have taken their booster shots.

NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the target was supposed to be attained by the end of 2021 but typhoon “Odette” affected the pace of the vaccination especially in Visayas and Mindanao.

“Sinabayan pa ito ng panibagong surge ngayong Enero pero hindi tayo tumigil sa pagbabakuna (This was further hampered by the new surge this January but we did not stop with our vaccination),” Galvez said.

“Tinulungan natin ang ating mga local government units na pataasin ang kanilang vaccination throughput sa maraming lugar na hindi pa gaanong apektado ng surge kaya mataas pa rin ang ating output nitong mga nakalipas na araw (We helped our local government units to increase their vaccination throughput in many areas that were not yet affected by the surge that’s why we still have a high output in the past few days),” he added.

According to Galvez, the vaccination output still reached 1.04 million over the past three days despite logistical limitations in the typhoon-hit areas and the ongoing surge of infections.

With this development, the vaccine czar expressed confidence that the government will achieve its 2022 vaccination goals of fully inoculating 77 million Filipinos in the first quarter, and 90 million by the end of second quarter.

As of Jan. 13, six regions have already surpassed the 70 percent threshold in terms of fully vaccinating its residents.

These include the National Capital Region (NCR) with 109.06 percent; Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) with 78.43 percent; Ilocos (Region 1) with 78.17 percent; Cagayan Valley (Region 2) with 74.93 percent; Central Luzon (Region 3) with 75.74 percent; and Calabarzon (Region 4A) with 71.92 percent.

Meanwhile, Galvez enjoined LGUs to continue strengthening their vaccination strategies amid the threat of the Omicron variant.

“This current Omicron surge will target the unvaccinated. Sa lahat ng ating mga LGUs, gawin natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya para mahikayat ang ating mga mamamayan na magpabakuna na para makaiwas sa severe cases, pagkaospital o pagkamatay (To all LGUs, let us do everything that we can to encourage all citizens to get the vaccine so they can avoid having severe cases, hospitalization, or death),” he said.