President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said the country would prioritize areas with high Covid-19 cases in its vaccination program in light of the more infectious Delta variant.

“Let me just assure everybody, anywhere in the Philippines, that the vaccines that we are giving is for all Filipinos. It’s just a matter of priority ka dito sa iyong mga hotspots kagaya ng mga Maynila and the environs,” Duterte said in a televised address.

The president said prioritization had to be made since the country’s vaccine supply was low.

“Ang problema talaga ng Pilipinas ay wala tayong supply na maganda kasi kung mayroon, maibigay na natin sa lahat. If we have numbers in sufficient vaccines, hindi na sila maghintay. Ibigay na natin kaagad,” Duterte said.

The country has administered more than 20.8 million vaccine doses as of Aug. 1.

It has received more than 34.2 million doses, and fully vaccinated over 9.1 million individuals.

The country aims to vaccinate 50 to 70 million Filipinos by yearend to achieve either population protection or herd immunity. John Ezekiel J. Hirro