(MNS Photo)

MANILA, Mar 1 (Mabuhay) –Over 63 million Filipinos are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, exactly a year since the Philippine government started its vaccine rollout, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said a total of 63,219,221 people have completed their primary vaccine series as of Monday, February 28.

Of the total of 135,747,294 vaccine doses administered nationwide, 68,808,944 individuals have received their first dose, while 10,214,164 have received their booster shots after reaching the three to six month requirement.

“With more than 80% of our country’s target population now fully vaccinated, we are confident that we can achieve our goal of vaccinating 90 million Filipinos by the end of the second quarter, and administer at least 72.16 million booster shots by the end of the year,” National Task Force (NTF) chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

The government is eyeing to fully vaccinate 77 million Filipinos against COVID-19 by the end of March, and 90 million by the time President Rodrigo Duterte steps down from office on June 30.

The National Capital Region and 38 other areas nationwide have been placed under Alert Level 1, the lowest under the new alert level system, from March 1 to March 15.

Under Alert Level 1, intrazonal and interzonal travel shall be allowed without regard to age and comorbidities. All establishments, persons, or activities, are allowed to operate, work, or be undertaken at full on-site or venue/seating capacity provided it is consistent with minimum public health standards.

With this development, Galvez congratulated the local government units (LGUs) for their “successful” implementation of their Prevention, Detection, Isolation, Treatment, and Reintegration and Vaccination (PDITRV) strategy.

He added that he wants the rest of the country to be placed under Alert Level 1 so that their economies can further open up and recover faster.

“We should continue to build the wall of protection. We are calling our LGUs to ramp up our booster shots to sustain our protection against COVID-19,” he said.

The NTF recalled the Philippines received its first vaccine shipment on February 28, 2021, which was donated by the Chinese government. The vaccines were then rolled out the following day, March 1, 2021.

Since February last year, Galvez noted that the country has received more than 225 million vaccine doses.

“The key was to work closely with the medical experts, local government units, diplomatic corps, WHO (World Health Organization), and the private sector to maximize our limited inventory of vaccines. We ensured those in the medical field and the vulnerable sectors of society were given primary protection first,” he said.

The Philippines on Monday reported 951 new COVID-19 infections, the lowest daily case count recorded this year. (MNS)

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