National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said the Philippines is “relatively” slow in administering booster shots against the coronavirus disease 2019.
In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte during the Talk to the People on Tuesday night, Galvez also noted that 2.5 million senior citizens have yet to receive their primary shots.
He, however, said the government has a good number of minors, aged 12 years to 18 years, who have received primary doses.
Galvez said at least eight million under the pediatric age group have received first doses, and 5.7 million of them are now fully protected against the dreaded disease.
The latest data from the NTF showed that the Philippines has administered 110,089,619 doses of Covid-19 vaccines nationwide – 57,254,482 were given as first doses, 50,627,196 as second doses and 2,207,941 were utilized as booster shots.
“We are still relatively slow in injecting booster shots. At the same time, we need to find and inoculate the 2.5 million unvaccinated seniors,” Galvez said in Filipino.
He said the government is pushing for a much aggressive vaccination program amid reports that there is already a local spread of the highly transmissible Omicron Covid-19 variant in the country.
There is a need to strengthen the Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treatment and Reintegration (PDITR) strategy, he added.
“We need to shift our focus now on the localized response by enhancing our barangay Covid response system and also to educate our people on self-management and exercise their individual social responsibility of protecting themselves and their families and communities,” Galvez said.
The vaccine czar said the government is currently establishing a “sustainable way on how to efficiently manage the day-to-day administration of vaccines delivered.”
The Philippines has so far received 210.633 million Covid-19 vaccine doses, both procured and donated, as of December 2021.