POVERTY– stricken Philippines, now a country of more than 109 million people, is still “hopeful” of achieving “population protection” before the end of this year.
But National Task Force Against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Secretary Vince Dizon was quick to emphasize that this depends on the availability of vaccines.
“Population protection” or “herd immunity” occurs when a large of the population becomes immune to a contagious disease, making the spread of the disease unlikely.
“Herd immunity” makes it possible to protect the people from a disease, including those who cannot be vaccinated, like newborns or those who have compromised immune systems.
In yesterday’s media briefing at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City, Secretary Dizon said there’s still no change of plan on the target timeline to “population protection.”
“We are not changing our target yet because we know that as long as we have vaccines, we can achieve that (herd immunity),” according to the country’s testing czar.
To date, the Philippines has received 21,779,910 anti-COVID-19 vaccine doses, of which 13,817,358 doses have been administered to healthcare workers, senior citizens, persons with co-morbidities, economic workers and indigents.
Of the number, 9,932,127 have received their first shots of COVID-19 vaccines, while 3,885,896 have been fully vaccinated.
On Wednesday, the Department of Health recorded 3,806 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the country’s total cases to 1,485,457, with 26,232 deaths and 1,414,817 recoveries.
Now, like Secretary Dizon, we hope the Philippines continues to receive much-needed COVID-19 vaccines from the world’s various pharmaceutical companies.
Kung hindi ay baka matagal pa nating ma-achieve ang minimithi nating “population protection.”