HAVING 54 million fully vaccinated Filipinos may not be met by the end of 2021, according to the health department.
The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, December 27, 2021, hinted at expecting to have 54 million fully vaccinated individuals by the first quarter of 2022.
“As to this 54-million target by the end of the year… (it is) to spill over until the first quarter of next year,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in a virtual press briefing.
“We are still going to pursue to reach our targets by the first quarter of next year,” she added.
This is different from their previous pronouncements of being confident of meeting the 54 million target of fully vaccinated individuals by end of the year.
Data showed that, as of December 26, there are already 47.16 million fully vaccinated individuals and 56.86 million partially vaccinated individuals.
“Among these with first doses, hopefully, we will have their second doses so we can further increase the coverage for fully vaccinated,” said Vergeire.
For now, the health official said what is important is how the country has continuously improved vaccine coverage in recent months.
“What will be important for all of us is that we were able to improve so much on our vaccination comparing this from the first, second, and third quarter of this year. During the fourth quarter of this year, the numbers really increased,” Vergeire said.
No child vaccination yet
As for the immunization of children aged 5 to 11 years old, the DOH reiterated that it has not yet started in the country.
According to Vergeire, they are reminding local government units (LGUs) to not commence with the jabbing of children yet by using the current supply of vaccines.
“We want to remind our LGUs or vaccination sites that we are not yet giving out vaccines for those aged 5 to 11 years old,” said Vergeire.
She noted how the vaccines to be used for the said age group contains a different dosage compared to those used for 12 years old and above.
Vergeire said the government is still set to secure the doses set to be used for children.
“We are still set to procure another formulation of Pfizer vaccine for the children,” said Vergeire.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration announced the issuance of the emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for the 5 to 11 age group.
Pfizer’s vaccine is the first in the country to get an emergency use authorization for the 5 to 11 age group.