The Philippines should vaccinate 2.5 million more senior citizens, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

In a “Laging Handa” briefing, acting WHO representative to the country Rajendra Yadav said vaccinating older people was “one of the most impactful ways to save lives” amid the pandemic.

“We know that senior citizens are at high risk for developing severe disease, getting hospitalized and dying from Covid-19. With fewer restrictions and high mobility happening now, we could be putting our unvaccinated senior citizens at risk of hospitalization and death,” he said.

“We appeal to the governors and mayors to do everything in their power to vaccinate our priority groups as soon as possible. We need to vaccinate the high priority groups before another variant causes another surge,” he added.

The Philippines has more than 6.2 million fully vaccinated senior citizens as of Feb. 4.

More than 1.5 million have received booster doses, while some five million have yet to receive their second doses.

The government is aiming to vaccinate 90 million Filipinos by June 2022.

The government is also eyeing to provide 72.16 million booster doses to Filipinos by yearend. John Ezekiel J. Hirro