Achieving herd immunity depends on COVID-19 vaccine supply, Duque says

5/7/2021 11:45:00 PM

Achieving herd immunity depends on COVID-19 vaccine supply, Duque says

(ALI VICOY / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)“Ang herd immunity maaabot natin kung sapat ang supply. Laging depende sa supply ‘yan (Herd immunity can be achieved if there is enough supply. It always depends on the supply),” Duque said in a DZBB interview Friday, May 7.

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“Kung hindi natin makuha ‘yung mga bulto ng mga bakunang inaasahan, mahihirapan tayong makamit kaagad ang herd immunity (If we will not receive the bulk of vaccines expected, it will be difficult for us to achieve herd immunity immediately),” he added.

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. believes that herd immunity can be achieved in Metro Manila and six neighboring provinces by November, by increasing the daily vaccination to 120,000 in the National Capital Region (NCR).With a total population of 110 million, the government is targeting to vaccinate 70 percent or around 70 million Filipinos in order to achieve herd immunity by the end of 2021.

But with the anticipated shortage of supply due to surge of infections in other countries, Galvez proposed that the government prioritize the areas that have “economic and social importance” in the vaccination program.The country’s health chief lamented that there is currently a limited supply of vaccines against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), saying that the volume of vaccines that have arrived in the country is not even enough yet to inoculate those in the top of the vaccination priority list.

“Kung ang usapin ay sapat ba o hindi, talagang hindi (If we are talking about the issue of whether there is enough vaccines or not, there is really not enough),” Duque said.The DOH chief said the bulk of the vaccines arriving in the country will be distributed to high-risk areas in order to decrease the number of infections, and ease the quarantine restrictions to allow more economic activity.

“In terms of prioritization, what was really agreed upon was to give the vaccine first to areas where we can speed up the decrease of cases so that we can open up the economy and ease community quarantine status,” Duque said.The Philippines on Friday received 1.5 million doses of CoronaVac vaccines developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech. This increased the country’s total vaccine supply to 5,540,600 doses.

This is the biggest one-time delivery of Sinovac vaccines to the country so far. The delivery was part of the 25 million doses of Sinovac vaccines that were purchased by the national government from China. Read more: Manila Bulletin News »

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