The second three-day national vaccination drive of the Philippines will be postponed in areas expected to be hit by typhoon “Odette.”

The country is set to launch the second phase of the “Bayanihan Bakunahan” program from Dec. 15 to 17.

According to a GMA News report, President Rodrigo Duterte has approved moving the vaccination drive to Dec. 20 to 22 in areas likely to be hit by “Odette.”

“Approved na. Visayas, Mindanao, Mimaropa, and Bicol Region are postponed to Dec. 20,” GMA News Online quoted Interior Secretary Eduardo Año in a message.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Monday night recommended the postponement of the vaccination drive in Visayan and Mindanao areas to ensure the safety of participants.

“Hindi po na muna natin itutuloy ang bakunahan dahil kinakailangan po mailayo sa peligro ang atin pong mga kababayan sa panahon nitong bagyong Odette,” Duque told Duterte.

The first phase of the vaccination program was extended by two days in some areas due to high vaccine demand.

The country was able to inoculate 9.9 million Filipinos from Dec. 15 to 19.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said the national vaccination drive would help the country increase the number of jabs administered, to vaccinate more Filipinos before the Christmas season.

The Philippines has more than 41.5 million individuals fully vaccinated against Covid-19. John Ezekiel J. Hirro