PASAY CITY, Philippines – Within 15 months after the National Vaccination Program was launched, the Philippine government has achieved its target of fully vaccinating 70 million Filipinos against COVID-19.

In the latest report by the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) as of June 17, the government has already fully vaccinated 70,005,247 individuals or 77.78% of the target population.

National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said this latest milestone is a testament of the administration’s commitment to vaccinate as many Filipinos as possible to protect them from the fatal effects of COVID-19.

“Tulad ng aming ipinangako, naabot na natin ang target na 70 million fully vaccinated individuals. Nagpapasalamat ang NTF sa lahat ng ating health workers, volunteers, at mga kababayang nagtulong-tulong para mas marami tayong mabakunahan at maprotektahan laban sa COVID-19,” Galvez said.

“This is our parting gift to the next administration. We hope that our new leaders will also prioritize our vaccination program and continue to build an immunity wall among our people,” he added.

As of June 17, the Philippines has administered a total of 153,013,072 COVID-19 vaccine doses, with 74,813,407 individuals receiving at least one dose.

Galvez is confident that the high vaccination rate in the country, coupled with the continued compliance to health protocols, can prevent another surge of COVID-19 infections.

“We have had many superspreader events in the past months, including the national elections, but we still managed to keep our new COVID-19 cases low because of our high vaccination rate,” the vaccine czar said.

“But vaccination alone is not enough. We still have to follow our public health protocols, including frequent washing of hands and wearing of best fitted face masks,” he added.

Data from NVOC also showed that 14,704,514 individuals have been administered their first booster shots, while 648,555 have received the second booster dose.

The government’s pediatric vaccination also continues to gain momentum, with 3,217,367 children aged five to 11 already fully vaccinated. For minors aged 12 to 17, 9,487,745 have already received their full doses.

Galvez renewed his call to the public to get their booster shots as soon as they are eligible to do so in order to boost the protection provided by the primary doses which wane over time.

“Napakahalaga pong makakuha ng booster shot para mapalakas ang proteksyon na dulot ng bakuna. Para sa mga pwede na ring kumuha ng second booster shot, magpabakuna na agad,” he said.

Currently, only frontline health workers, immunocompromised individuals and senior citizens are allowed to take the second boosters.

Frontline health workers and senior citizens can take their second booster shot four months after their first booster dose, while immunocompromised individuals have to wait for three months after their first booster shot. ###