Gov’t targets herd immunity in Metro Manila, nearby provinces by November
MANILA, Philippines — The government is aiming to achieve herd immunity in Metro Manila and nearby provinces around November, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Tuesday.
According to Galvez, the government plans to focus on achieving herd immunity in “strategic areas” such as Metro Manila which have a significant number of infections and the “highest economic and social impact,” considering there is a looming shortfall in the country’s vaccine supply due to constrictions in the global market.
“With the constrictions of the global market lalo na ‘yung nangyayari sa India there’s a possibility talaga na magkaroon ng delay,” he said in a Palace briefing.
(With the constrictions of the global market, especially with what’s happening in India, there’s a possibility that there will be a delay in the delivery of vaccines.)
“Kung nakikita natin na realistically we will have a shortfall of supply we need to strategize that we will get the same effect,” he added.
(If we’re seeing a shortfall of supply, we need to strategize to get the same effect.)
Galvez said the government targets to vaccinate 70% of the population in Metro Manila and nearby provinces in 180 days or by November.
“Ang target namin, nagkaroon kami ng simulation, we can have the herd immunity sa NCR (National Capital Region) plus six provinces around NCR by November. Mga 180 days,” he said.
(In our simulation, we can have herd immunity in NCR plus six provinces around NCR by November or 180 days.)
To achieve this, the government has to administer 120,000 shots a day in Metro Manila, Galvez said.
The vaccine czar earlier bared the government’s plan to concentrate vaccine supply in “strategic areas,” which include Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and Central Luzon.
He explained that by concentrating the vaccine supply in these areas, the government only needs to inoculate about 58.6 million people, or 70% of 83 million people, to achieve herd immunity.
This plan of action is in lieu of aiming to achieve herd immunity by inoculating 70% of the 110 million total population of the country, Galvez explained.
“If we can get 70% – that is, herd immunity — in those areas, the chances are big that our economy will recover and the chances are big that we will prevent a surge in those areas that are very vulnerable,” he said.
Galvez also said the country would need 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines per month to be able to vaccinate 70% of the 110-million population, which would entail administering 500,000 doses per day and three million doses per week.
So far, the government has administered 1,948,080 COVID-19 shots, vaccinating 1,658,539 Filipinos.
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