Galvez confident Filipinos will still have 'better Christmas' this year

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 8) — Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. expressed confidence that Filipinos will still have a "better Christmas" this year once majority of the population, including the vulnerable, have received their COVID-19 shots.

"I am very confident because we saw the figures," Galvez told CNN Philippines' The Source on Tuesday. "Nakikita natin na kayang malampasan ang (We see that we can surpass) 500,000 to even 700,000 jabs a day."

He said that as long as vaccine supply further stabilizes in the succeeding months and the 25 million vulnerable indiviudals are immunized before the year end, he is "very confident" that the government can contain the pandemic.

Galvez also said that by still having majority of the population vaccinated, and at least having them get their first dose, the COVID-19 situation in the country will still have slightly improved.

"We can foresee that we have a better Christmas this year," he added. "That's the promise that we have right now. But we can stick to our position that we can get 70 million (inoculated Filipinos), at least 'yung first dose, by November or December."

It is not clear whether the government has revised its inoculation target to only having 70 million Filipinos partially vaccinated to achieve herd immunity this year.

In the past, Galvez stressed that the initial target is to have 50 million to 70 million vaccinated this year, or about half of the 108 million population in the country.

CNN Philippines has reached out to Galvez for clarification.

Last March, Galvez expressed optimism that the 70 million target can still be reached once the government reaches 3 to 5 million jabs per week.

However, as of this month, the government has only been administering 150,000 doses daily.

Galvez said the government is hoping to increase its inoculation to 500,000 daily jabs by the third quarter and 700,000 jabs in the fourth quarter to reach its target.

He added that about 10 million vaccine doses are expected to arrive in the country this June, as the government starts to immunize essential workers under the A4 priority group. This is alongside the ongoing inoculation for health workers (A1), senior citizens (A2), and persons with comorbidity (A3).