PH to raise vaccination target to 90% of population to attain herd immunity
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is eyeing to raise its vaccination target from 70 percent to 80- to 90% of the country’s population to be able to attain herd immunity against COVID-19.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. also said on Wednesday that the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus had caused a setback in the government’s efforts to achieve herd immunity through vaccination.
“Nakikita po natin na yung herd immunity, yung concept na yun, dahil sa Delta variant, baka iangat po natin ng 80 to 90 percent,” he said in an interview with Teleradyo.
(We might increase our target of herd immunity because of the Delta variant.)
Galvez said adjustment in the vaccination target may be achieved by the first quarter of 2022.
The government’s initial vaccination goal of 70 percent of the population is equivalent to about 77 million Filipinos by the end of the year.
“So yung 77 million, pipilitin namin na sa end of the year. And then yung tinatawag natin na herd immunity na 90 percent, is by end of the first quarter of 2022,” said Galvez.
(So the 77 million, we will try to finish vaccinating them by the end of the year. And the herd immunity of 90 percent, we will try accomplishing that by the end of the first quarter of 2022.)
“Sabi nga po ng isang Israel expert, we cannot achieve or eliminate the disease or contain the transmission if [there’s] a sizeable amount of population who are unprotected,” he added.
The World Health Organization defines herd immunity as the indirect protection from an infectious disease which happens when a population becomes immune due to vaccination or immunity developed through previous infections.
The Philippines has so far fully vaccinated just over 15 million individuals against COVID-19 as of September 5.
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