Booster shots part of recalibrated vaccination program in next months

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Booster shots, evaluation of current local government units’ (LGU) policies, and vaccination during election season are part of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19’s recalibrated national vaccination program for the remaining months of 2021 and until next year.

NTF chief Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday night presented the government’s key considerations in recalibrating the inoculation plan during President Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk to People aired late Monday.

Among the immediate goals are a “better Christmas and safe election period” and gradual resumption of face-to-face classes, Galvez said.

The key phases of the recalibrated strategies include securing the safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of the different Covid-19 vaccines; assessment on the current vaccine rollout of some cities experiencing inflection point; reevaluation of LGUs’ handling capacities; review of sustainable vaccination program in the fourth quarter of 2021; crafting vaccine security roadmap amid the presence of Covid-19 variants and reformulated booster shots; review of the vaccine portfolios; and vaccination strategies during the May 2022 national and local elections.

“Our most desired outcome here is to have a safe, equitable, and cost-effective vaccination program for the pediatric population, usage of booster shots, and inoculation of the general population by the fourth quarter this year,” Galvez said in Filipino.

Galvez said the government will continue to adopt the “focus and expand” vaccination strategy in high-risk or critical areas.

“We are negotiating with four to five manufacturers to sign non-binding term sheets to lock-in the allocations of 90 million doses starting first quarter [of 2022],” Galvez said.

The Department of Finance, he added, is already preparing for multilateral funding worth P45 billion, in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

The Philippines is set to complete the estimated 160 million doses of secured Covid-19 vaccines by the end of the year.

“To reiterate, the delivery of 100 million doses before the end of October 2021, and the delivery of 140 to 160 million doses before the end of the year,” he said.

The NTF plans to administer at least 100 million doses before 2022.

“And then we are targeting to give, to vaccinate all the targeted population before the start of the election period in February 2022,” he said.

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