Isko Mayor Isko Moreno and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna discuss plans to achieve herd immunity soonest in the city of Manila. Photo by JERRY S. TAN

Manila close to attaining herd immunity

July 23, 2021 Itchie G. Cabayan 115 views

IF only there are vaccines available, the city of Manila will already be able to achieve its herd immunity in just two days, being just over 86,000 shy of the required number of vaccinees which is 800,000 as per the Department of Health (DOH).

It was learned from Mayor Isko Moreno that the DOH had told him that the city needs to vaccinate 70 percent of its population or 800,000 individuals in order to achieve its herd immunity.

Based on statistics provided by Dr. Poks Pangan, head of the Manila Health Department (MHD), the mayor said that the number of residents already vaccinated by the city is now at 713,128 which is 86,972 shy of the 800,000 needed for herd immunity.

At the rate the city’s mass inoculation program is going, under the stewardship of Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, Dr. Pangan and assistant MHD chief Dr. Ed Santos, which already nears 45,000 every vaccination day, Moreno said the city government will be able to achieve the number in just two days if only it has 86,972 vaccines in its hands.

The mayor said of the 713,218 who got vaccinated in the city, more than 50 percent have already received their second dose.

This positive development was credited by Moreno not only to the dedication of the vaccination teams who man the city’s 22 vaccination sites which are open for 14 hours, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Moreno also attributed the success of the city’s vaccination program to the willingness of the residents to get the jab in response to the campaign to get vaccinated which he and Lacuna have been actively pushing since the start of the current year and right after the local government launched on New Year’s Eve its online registration program for those who want to get vaccinated.

“Due to your cooperation and belief that vaccination can help and for listening to us, baka maabot natin itong herd immunity sa lalong madaling panahon,” Moreno said.

Meanwhile, Moreno expressed hope that any local government be informed immediately if any case of Delta variant is found within its jurisdiction, citing a recent incident where the city of Manila was told a month later already.

He said Pangan reported that the city was informed at 11 a.m. of July 23 that one Delta variant case was detected in Manila. The patient is a 33-year-old female assistant researcher at a public hospital in the city, but not in any of the six hospitals being operated by the local government.

Moreno, still citing the report, said the patient manifested symptoms on June 23 and on June 26, the results of her swab or RT-PCR test came out. She was positive for COVID-19, along with her husband and their child and they all went on home quarantine.

Come July 3, her symptoms were gone and on July 10, she reportedly recovered and went back to work the following day. On July 22, the patient’s case turned out to be Delta variant and the city was informed.

Moreno said that the patient had to undergo another swab testing and so far, the mayor said she is doing fine.

“Hopefully, ‘wag umabot ng isang buwan bago i-inform ang local government para magawa namin ang dapat gawin,” Moreno said, as he assured the city continues to buy the needed medicines and equipment to address COVID-19.