JABBED. A medical front-liner (left) administers the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine at a mall in Antipolo City on Friday (Sept. 17, 2021). The Philippines has breached the 40-million mark in terms of Covid-19 jabs administered, with 40,030,388 shots given as of September 15. (PNA photo by Joey O. Razon)

MANILA – The National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19, along with Metro Manila mayors, have started their preparations for the expansion of the Covid-19 vaccination program to the younger population, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Friday.

Galvez said the so-called vaccination tempo for the National Capital Region (NCR) is nearing its saturation point, allowing the expansion of vaccine rollout to other sectors.

Based on the NTF data sent to the media Friday night, about 64.21 percent of NCR's target eligible population for vaccination are now fully vaccinated while 84.09 percent have received their first doses.

“We are looking at expanding the vaccine rollout to the younger population or those 12 to 17 years old in NCR. We are awaiting the recommendation of our vaccine and public health experts regarding this matter, but the NTF along with Metro Manila mayors, have started preparations for this expansion,” he said in a statement.

Galvez said some local government units in Metro Manila have opened registration for the younger age bracket.

Mainam naming pinaghahandaan kasama ng MMDA [Metro Manila Development Authority] at ng mga butihing mayor ng bawat lungsod sa Metro Manila ang mga susunod na hakbang para sa maayos at ligtas na pagbabakuna sa ating mga kabataan (We are carefully readying the necessary steps to ensure an organized and safe pediatric vaccination, along with MMDA and Metro Manila mayors,” he added.

Galvez said once a sufficient supply of vaccines is delivered and with the recommendation of the health experts, the government will start pediatric vaccination.

To date, the Philippines has a total vaccine stockpile of 58,208,810 doses.

Galvez said over 6.3 million doses, consisting of AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Sinovac vaccines, were delivered early this month.

At least 30 million doses are slated to arrive in the coming weeks -- 12 million Sinovac doses; five million, Pfizer; 3 to 5 million, Moderna; 1.1 million, AstraZeneca; one million, Sputnik Light; one million doses of donated vaccines from a bilateral partner; and more than 10 million doses from the COVAX Facility. (PNA)