Lacson hits slow pace of vaccine rollout
With the way things are going, it may take the Philippines 12 years to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said on Friday.
“At the rate of about 4,000 [inoculations] a day, assuming that the vaccination is not accelerated and assuming we will have the vaccines for the 70 million targeted population for herd immunity, we might not achieve herd immunity until 2033 at the rate we’re doing it now,” the senator said in a television interview.
Herd immunity refers to the degree of protection that is achieved by a population once a sufficient proportion of the people has been vaccinated.
“Unless we accelerate the pace of vaccination, it will take us a long time,” Lacson said.
He noted that as of March 10, only 114,615 Filipinos had been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“But if we accelerate, and I hope the government would accelerate the vaccination rollout, then maybe we can advance the timetable,” he added.
Lacson said there was still much room for improvement in the government’s response to the pandemic, a year after it imposed quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon to stop the spread of COVID-19.
He said the vaccination managers should focus not only on the logistics but the supply side in order to inoculate a sufficient number of people.
“We really need to procure, and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. is scrambling to really work on the supply. We can only hope there are no gaps in deliveries and therefore no halt, and instead, the vaccination will keep going,” Lacson said.
He acknowledged some “good moves” by the COVID-19 managers, such as the reimposition of the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew in the entire Metro Manila, as well as the government’s “use of police power” to contain the spread of the virus.
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