CUSTOMS CHECK. A Bureau of Customs personnel inspects the boxes containing the newly delivered Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine shortly after it arrives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City on Wednesday (Feb. 2, 2022) night. The latest vaccine delivery, a total of 455,130 doses, is procured by the national government. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)

MANILA – A total of 59,120,367 individuals nationwide or 75.7 percent of the target population are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), according to the National Task Force Against Covid-19.

In an interview Wednesday night, National Task Force Against Covid-19 consultant Dr. Maria Paz Corrales said the number is 53 percent of the total Philippine population.

More are expected to receive the life-saving shots as the national government further ramps up its vaccination campaign, expanding it to children aged 5 to 11 years old starting February 4, and in provinces badly hit by Typhoon Odette last year.

Corrales said a total of 780,000 doses of reformulated Pfizer vaccine for this age group would arrive February 3.

She added that the government is planning to hold another round of the national vaccination days for the young age group that would also cover booster doses.

“Meron tayong pinaplanong (We are planning a) national vaccination day that will cover the pediatric population, that’s 5 to 17, and then for the senior citizens, and the booster. We have to ramp up the three so the government is planning to have a national vaccination days para tumaas ang (to increase the number of) vaccination. We hope to achieve 90 million by June,” Corrales said.

In areas stricken by "Odette", Corrales said the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson and the Sputnik Light vaccines are recommended since they get protected against the disease immediately, without having to return for a second dose.

“The problem is 'yung mga Odette stricken areas, may ibang may problema pa sa storage kasi 'yung iba wala pang kuryente, may iba naman, 'yung mga vaccinators apektado dahil sa (There are areas with storage problems since some are still without power. There are also some vaccinators affected by the) Omicron surge but they have fully recuperated and they are going back to work. The government is doing all its efforts to help build again those Odette stricken areas,” Corrales said.

The country was at the height of its national vaccination days in December when "Odette" struck provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao, causing massive flooding and power outages that went on for days, disrupting the vaccination program in many areas.

Corrales was among the officials who welcomed the arrival of 455,130 doses of government procured Pfizer vaccine Wednesday night at the NAIA Terminal 3.

Corrales said the latest vaccine shipment was intended for the adult population and does not include the reformulated Pfizer jabs for children 5 to 11 years old. (PNA)