PH misses COVID-19 vaccination target, to focus on protecting senior citizens

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 31) — The country has fully vaccinated 50 million individuals against COVID-19, missing its target of vaccinating 54 million Filipinos by yearend.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr said vaccination efforts were greatly hampered by the destructive Typhoon Odette that hit the country mid-December. However, he is optimistic vaccination of the remaining four million to reach the target will be completed by the second week of January next year.

The government is also targeting to fully vaccinate 77 million Filipinos by the first quarter of 2022. The previous target was to inoculate 77 million by the end of 2021 to achieve herd immunity.

Meanwhile, the official said the government will focus on reaching 1.5 million unvaccinated vulnerable senior citizens who are more prone to severe COVID-19 as the threat of the Omicron coronavirus variant looms larger.

"Iyon ang nakikita naming magooverwhelm sa ating mga health facilities," he said.

[Translation: We see that that could overwhelm our health facilities.]