The government is planning another round of "Bayanihan, Bakunahan" COVID-19 vaccination drive from Dec. 15 to 17 to meet its goal of inoculating 54 million people towards the end of the year.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has yet to formalize the recommendation but is already studying it in light of the growing risk of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
“We’re also considering another round of vaccination days for December, 15, 16, 17. Although we’re still finalizing that. But the reason for all of this is again to add (to) the defense against Omicron and whatever variants there are,” acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said in an interview with ANC.
He stated the IATF and National Vaccines Operation Center will decide whether another series of national immunization days were necessary.
Though the nationwide immunization program fell short of its three million goal inoculations on the first day, with only 2.55 million, Nograles expressed optimism that numbers will rise in the days ahead.
“Obviously on the first day, you will see the challenges. No matter how much you prepare on the ground, magkakaroon ka talaga ng mga local challenges,” he said.
By the end of the year, the country hopes to have fully vaccinated 54 million Filipinos, down from the previous goal of 77 million individuals, or 70% of the entire population of 110 million.
Nograles said Malacanang is also supportive of the idea of administering daily COVID-19 immunizations, but that it would be reliant on vaccine supplies being available in local government units.
“On the ground, it’s really up to the LGUs to make the adjustments as they see it fit doon sa ground. But we’ve always been pushing the LGUs – whatever you can do to encourage more people to get vaccinated, gawin na natin,” Nograles stated. (Gaile Gregorio with a report from PNA)