5.5M Filipinos now fully vaccinated against COVID-19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 24) — Over 5.5 million Filipinos are now protected against COVID-19, the pandemic task force said Saturday, as the country's coronavirus shots near 500,000 per day.

"We are now past the crawl-and-walk stages, as we gradually run towards our goal of inoculating half a million Filipinos per day this quarter," National Task Force against COVID 19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr. was quoted as saying in a statement.

Galvez said the government was able to administer 472,356 doses across the country last Thursday — only 30,000 short of its target of at least half a million Filipinos per day this third quarter.

Around 16.4 million shots have already been administered since the rollout of the vaccination program last March.

NTF Deputy Chief Implementer and testing czar Secretary Vivencio Dizon said the figures mirrored the growing vaccine confidence in the country.

"The upward trajectory of our daily vaccination output in all priority sectors says so many things in the ongoing program — our vaccine supply inventory is expanding and the vaccine confidence of the Filipino people is increasing," Dizon said.

Dizon noted the government seeks to administer 750,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines per day in the last quarter of 2021.

As of Friday, the Philippines has 30.98 million doses of coronavirus vaccines. Six million doses more are expected to arrive in the country next week, Galvez said.

Amid the Delta threat, Galvez urged the public to strictly follow health protocols.

"The best way to stop and limit the spread of the Delta variant, along with getting the vaccine, is diligently complying with minimum public health standards – mask, hugas, iwas. If possible, put on double masks. We need to be more conscious because the virus continues to mutate," he said.