NTF vows to fully vaccinate 70M Filipinos before Duterte admin ends

NEWS

The National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 is eyeing to get at least 70 million Filipinos fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the Duterte administration ends on June 30.

During outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk to the People aired on Monday night, NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said their target was based on the data gathered by the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC).

NVOC’s figures showed that the country’s average four-week jab rate for the first dose was at 321,083, while 242,606 second doses were administered on average over the same period.

“‘Yung atin pong best case scenario na bago po tayo matapos ang ating administrasyon, ang nakikita po namin ang pinaka-honest-to-goodness na aming assessment sa individuals with at least one dose, 75 million po tayo; and then ‘yung fully vaccinated po ay 70,087,920,” Galvez said.

(Our best case scenario based on our honest-to-goodness assessment is that 75 million people will get their first dose, while 70,087,920 will be fully vaccinated.)

As of June 6, a total 74,221,490 Filipinos have received their first dose, while 69,519,052 individuals were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The government earlier set a target of fully vaccinating 90 million by the end of Duterte’s term. However, NVOC chairperson Dr. Myrna Cabotaje said they would already be “happy” if they reach 77 million by then.

Galvez explained that the government originally aimed at vaccinating 70 million Filipinos based on the National Vaccination Plan. However, this figure was increased to 90 million due to the transmissions of new COVID-19 variants such as the Omicron sub variants BA.5, BA.2.12.1, and BA.4 which were recently detected in the country.

He stressed that the 70-million target is “already substantial, and is within the range approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).”

“Ang WHO po ay ay talagang tuwang-tuwa din dahil there are only few countries who have accomplished ‘yung 70 million fully-vaccinated people. And isa po ang Pilipinas na sinasabi nilang napakaganda ng pag-arangkada sa vaccination,” Galvez added.

(WHO is really happy because there are only a few countries that accomplished the 70-million target, and the Philippines is among those that have a good vaccination rollout.)

Tokyo-based news magazine Nikkei Asia COVID-19 recovery rankings reported that the Philippines improved its ranking in May, moving to 33rd place from December 2021\\\’s 57th place. They said the Philippines, along with Vietnam, recorded their “best performances” last month for keeping the COVID-19 infections low while managing to ease restrictions.