The Philippines is targeting 1.5 million daily COVID-19 vaccinations for a "happy Christmas," the government's vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Tuesday as more jabs become available.
At this rate, the country can fully vaccinate at least 50 million people before Christmas, Galvez said. Around 24.5 million people have been fully inoculated as of mid-October.
"We are now raising the daily target to 1.5 million a day in order to achieve a happy Christmas this year," Galvez said in a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte and other Cabinet officials.
"We will be opening the general population, then the pilot of children vaccination, and we are ramping up the vaccination of students, teachers, and tourism personnel, OFWs, and seafarers," he added.
The pace of vaccinations will pick up as the government further eases COVID-19 restrictions in different parts of the country by doing away with lockdowns in favor of alert level-based quarantines.
In October, government opened COVID-19 vaccination slots to the general public and started inoculations of minors. Previously, access to vaccines was limited to health workers, senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, the working population, and the poor.
With more COVID-19 vaccines coming in, Galvez said the country could vaccinate at least 70% of its total population by February next year, ahead of the presidential elections.