VACCINE czar Carlito Galvez Jr. is calling for more volunteers for the national Covid-19 vaccination drive so the government could reach the goal of inoculating 15 million Filipinos during the three-day period.

Galvez, who is also the chief implementer of the National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF), said that preparations for the event "have shifted to high gear."

He said the government is looking at opening over 5,000 more vaccination centers to complete the 11,000 sites needed for the event, as well as the recruitment of about 51,000 volunteers.

"We only have 17,242 volunteers available and 30 AFP teams assigned in GIDA (Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas)," Galvez said.

The volunteers will come from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Transportation, Department of Tourism, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Quarantine, Bureau of Jail and Penology, Bureau of Fire and Protection, Bureau of Customs, and other uniformed services and government agencies.

Galvez said the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PNP will also help in the inspection and inventory of vaccines and syringes at the Centers for Health Development, as well as provincial, city and municipal warehouses.

A huge number of organizations from the medical, academe and student sectors, as well as from community organizations, have expressed their commitment to provide support for the National Vaccination Days.

"We need to scale up the vaccination capacity of our LGUs (local government units) and build up the momentum for our vaccination output leading to Christmas and the rest of the holiday season," he said.

As of November 21, only 10 provinces and 42 cities have vaccinated 70 percent of their population with at least the first dose.

Nine cities outside the National Capital Region have fully vaccinated their population with the first dose.

As of November 24, the country still has more than 57.6 million doses of vaccine stockpiled, from the total of 135.2 million doses delivered since February.

From November 15 to 21, the Philippines achieved its highest seven-day average output of 5.8 million jabs.

"However, we still need to scale up our daily vaccination to achieve at least 7.5 million jabs per week in order to accomplish our end-goal of fully vaccinating 54 million by the end of year 2021. This is why the conduct of our National Vaccination Days is both timely and crucial," Galvez said.

He added that the NTF has developed a synchronized matrix for the country's vaccination targets until next year.

Based on the matrix, the Philippines shall have accomplished four major milestones by the end of the third quarter of 2022.

The first includes fully vaccinating 54 million Filipinos, including at least 80 percent of children aged 12 to 17 before the end of the year.

As of November 23, a total of 34 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated. This means that around 20 million more need to be fully vaccinated to achieve population protection by the end of this year.

Over 3 million from the pediatric sector have also received at least one dose.

The government also aims to finish administering booster shots to 1.6 million health workers this year as well as booster shots and additional doses to 5 to 8 million senior citizens and individuals with comorbidities.

The second milestone focuses on getting 77 million Filipinos fully vaccinated by the end of the first quarter of 2022.

In the same period, vaccination for booster shots of government and economic frontliners as well as the vaccination of minors aged 5 to 11 will commence in a phased manner.

As of November 23, the Philippines has administered 70,500 booster shots and additional vaccine doses to members of the A1, A2 and A3 priority sectors.

The third milestone centers on increasing the number of fully vaccinated individuals to 90 million by the second quarter of 2022, and completing the booster shots for government and economic frontliners.

The fourth milestone is focused on completing the primary and booster vaccination of the rest of the population by the end of the third quarter of 2022.