(PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – The Philippines on Wednesday night hit over 210 million in secured vaccine doses since the pandemic started as it receive yet another batch of Moderna jabs procured by the private sector.

National Task Force Against Covid-19 consultant, Lt. Col. Francel Margareth Taborlupa together with other officials from the government welcomed the arrival of 1,230,800 doses of Moderna jabs, which she said would greatly contribute to the country's target of vaccinating 54 million people.

The latest shipment will be used for first and second doses, as well as for booster shots, the official added.

Data from the Department of Health showed that over 60 million doses of vaccines were delivered to the Philippines in December 2021 alone, with more donations and procured doses expected to arrive before 2021 ends.

"It's going to boost the vaccination effort of the Philippine government. It will really help us attain our target of vaccinating 54 million in order to attain population protection," Taborlupa said during the arrival ceremony at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1.

The official noted that the government is also aiming to vaccinate at least 77 million people before the 2022 election and kickoff the inoculation drive for five to 11 years old by mid-January.

With enough jabs in the country's stockpile, Taborlupa reiterated the government's appeal on all unvaccinated to get jabbed as soon as possible, especially now with the entry of the Omicron variant.

"It's almost the end of the year so we'd like to thank everyone who has been with us in our effort to vaccinate and we wish everyone a Happy New Year but siyempre po wag isantabi ang Omicron virus (please refrain from ignoring the threat of the Omicron variant)," she said.

The official said it's "alarming" that in just a couple of days, the positivity rate had been increasing.

"Ibig sabihin mayroong effect 'yong paglabas natin (It means the gesture of people going out has still an effect) that's why we encourage everyone to still be very protected, get vaccinated," she said. (PNA)