(MNS Photo)

MANILA, Dec 17 (Mabuhay) — The Philippine government has administered around 950,000 vaccine doses against COVID-19 during the first day of the second round of a three-day nationwide vaccination program, a Health official said Thursday.

Speaking during the Laging Handa briefing, Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said the total number of people vaccinated for Day 1 of Round 2 is 953,624 coming from 83.7% of local government units.

The vaccination drive has been postponed in areas that will be affected by Typhoon Odette.

“The top performing regions for the first day are Region 4A or Calabarzon, Region 3 or Central Luzon, and Region 1 or Ilocos Region,” Cabotaje said.

The government is eyeing to vaccinate seven million COVID-19 vaccine doses during the second round of the vaccination program scheduled from December 15 to 17 and from December 20 to 22 in Odette-affected areas.

In the same briefing, Cabotaje said 24% of the country’s 12-to-17-year-old population or 2.7 million are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and that 62% of the same age group already got their first dose.

As for the nine million senior citizens or those aged 60 years old and above, Cabotaje said 64.9% of them are already fully vaccinated.

Cabotaje also said that given the entry of the new Omicron variant, health authorities are studying on shortening the interval between the administration of single dose and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine and the booster shot.

Under current guidelines, booster shot can already be administered to individuals three months after getting the single dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and six months after the second dose of two-dose COVID-19 vaccine brands.

“We have a good turnout for senior citizens seeking booster, and we are studying if we can decrease the interval for booster administration [from six months] to four to five months,” Cabotaje said.

“By the end of the year or early next year, we will have a recommendation,” she added. (MNS)

READ NEXT: 237 new COVID-19 cases bring Philippines’ active tally to 10,193