Better Christmas for all Filipinos in the offing — Galvez

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A BETTER Christmas may soon be realized by all Filipinos given the major milestones achieved under the country’s national vaccination program.

This was the assurance made by National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. following the successful conduct of the first National Vaccination Days (NVD) from November 29 to December 3.

In five days, the country was able to administer 10,254,560 doses, or a daily average jab rate of 2,050,912 doses, the highest recorded since the national vaccination program was rolled out in March.

Kung matatandaan niyo, nangako po si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na magkakaroon tayo ng mas masayang Pasko ngayong taong ito,” Galvez said during the culmination program of the Bayanihan, Bakunahan vaccination program on Thursday.

The Philippines has recorded an average daily caseload of below 500 over the past several days, a significant drop from the thousands of daily cases registered during the surge of Delta variant infections just a few months ago.

But with the country’s expanded vaccination rollout and more responsive pandemic response and mitigation measures, the government has managed to bring down the nation’s infection rate to a threshold set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

As of December 7, the Philippines has already administered a total of 93,687,341 vaccine doses. Of this number, 53,841,469 have been given as first doses while 39,236,194 are now fully vaccinated.

Galvez said he is confident the Philippines will achieve population protection before the year ends by realizing its target of fully vaccinating at least 54 million Filipinos.

He emphasized that the aggressive rollout of the government’s vaccination program is among the measures undertaken by the government to prepare the country for the entry of the Omicron variant.

Kasabay ng ating mas pinalawak na vaccination drive, mas mahigpit na border control, pagpapalakas ng ating healthcare system at pandemic response efforts, at pagsunod sa minimum public health standards, amin pong hinihiling ang patuloy na suporta sa paghikayat sa ating mga kapamilya, kaibigan at katrabaho na magpabakuna na,” Galvez added.

The national government earlier announced that it is mounting another leg of NVD from December 15 to 17 as part of its efforts to further scale up the vaccination throughput of local government units nationwide.

Galvez said he is hopeful that government line agencies, local government units, and private sector partners will be able to replicate the success of the first NVD so that more Filipinos will be protected nationwide against the virus.

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