The government has postponed the second phase of its COVID-19 vaccination drive in parts of the Philippines due to approaching storm Odette, the Department of Health said Tuesday.
Odette is set to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Tuesday and could bring "destructive" winds according to state weather bureau PAGASA.
In preparation for the storm, DOH spokesperson Usec. Rosario Vergeire said the government would reschedule the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the following areas to Dec. 20-22:
- Southwestern Tagalog Region
- Bicol Region
- Western Visayas
- Eastern Visayas
- Central Visayas
- All regions in Mindanao
Mass COVID-19 vaccination in the following areas will meanwhile push through as scheduled from Dec. 15 to 17:
- Metro Manila
- Cordillera Administrative Region
- Ilocos Region
- Cagayan Valley
- Central Luzon
- Southern Tagalog Region
"We will still have the same targets po...We will have 7 million targeted individuals to be vaccinated for these national vaccination days," Vergeire told reporters.
The Philippines has so far fully vaccinated some 41.5 million individuals against an initial target of 50 million by Christmas. The government is rushing inoculations and promoting booster shots in preparation for the new Omicron ariant.