FILE PHOTO: Public school teachers receive Sinovac jab during COVID-19 vaccination effort of the City Government of Manila on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at Palacio de Maynila, Roxas Boulevard. INQUIRER file photo / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will recalibrate its vaccination strategy for the fourth quarter of 2021, said Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the nation’s vaccine manager, on Tuesday during another taped briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Ito na po ang gagawin po natin (this is what we will do first), one strategy is vaccinating the unvaccinated. Meaning, we will ramp up vaccination to achieve 1.5 million jabs per day,” said Galvez.

“And then we will concentrate on vaccinating the willing to achieve a ‘bandwagon effect,’ then we will open up the general population and pediatric population,” he added.

Seniors and other priority sectors, however, will still be prioritized in the vaccination, said Galvez.

Meanwhile, students, teachers, and school personnel will also be given vaccination priority in preparation for the opening up of schools.

Galvez also added that the public and private task force will be assigned to address challenges and issues on PhilHealth as well as maintain and provide a safe environment and ventilation in the community and the workplace.

Booster shots to start by November or early December

Galvez also said that they are now preparing for the “third dosing” of healthcare workers and the vulnerable sector.

“Ito po pineprepare na namin ni [Health Sec.] [Franscisco] Duque, dahil nagbigay na po ng inclination ang WHO, na ‘yung ating vaccination for third dosing considering na maglalapse na po ‘yung immunity,” said Galvez

(Duque and I are already preparing this because the WHO has already given the inclination, that our vaccination for third dosing considering that immunity will lapse.)

“Maybe we can start by November or early December,” he added.

Galvez first bared the “revaccination” plans on Oct. 6.

New ‘ecosystem’, ‘geographical areas’

To accelerate the vaccination of key cities and economic hubs, Galvez added that Region 4A and Region 3 will be “leveled up” to the National Capital Region (NCR) to become one “ecosystem” or “geographic area.”

“At the same time Region 10, 11 and 12, 6 and 7 will be considered as well as one ecosystem or one geographical area,”

There will also be strict implementation of mass transport and workplace protocols, according to Galvez.

Vaccination goals

The NTF Against COVID-19 will then aim to fully vaccinate at least 50 million of the priority population and 70 percent of the so-called NCR+10 before Christmas and 70 percent of the total vaccination before the election period.

As of Oct. 20, the country has already administered 52,783,354 total COVID-19 vaccines, of which 24,498,753 individuals or 31.76 percent of the target of around 77 million are fully vaccinated.


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