Solon: India to help PH achieve herd immunity

September 25, 2021 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 395 views

DEPUTY Speaker and Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez has recognized that India restarting its exports of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccines in October will be “instrumental” in helping the Philippines achieve herd immunity against the virus “in the soonest possible time.”

“India is the largest COVID-19 vaccine producer in the world. With them reopening their vaccine exports, we can have access again to their vaccines such as Novovax, Covishield, and COVAXIN which are proven highly effective against COVID-19 and its Delta strain,” Rodriguez said.

“I believe sourcing enough supplies from them will be instrumental in our efforts to achieve herd immunity in the soonest possible time. We can accelerate our National Vaccination Program and eventually get our local government units (LGUs) and private companies to inoculate in their own areas as well,” he added.

India is resuming exports in October now that their vaccine supplies are rising. It was recalled that last April, the country halted exports to focus on inoculating their own population as infections skyrocketed.

The Philippines is targeting to inoculate 90% of the population or 100 million Filipinos to achieve herd immunity versus COVID-19, given the strength of the Delta variant. The government is eyeing to vaccinate 50% to 60% of the total population to achieve at least “population protection” by end-2021.

“Our country is now at the Top 8 of countries with the most COVID-19 cases in the world. We cannot afford to slow down our fight against the virus. We have faith that the national government through the DoH (Department of Health) and NTF (National Task Force against COVID-19) will take the necessary steps to include India-made vaccines in the roster of existing vaccines from China, the United States, and Europe. With more vaccines on hand, combined with the signing of MPAs for the LGUs and the private sector, achieving herd immunity for the country by year end is within reach,” Rodriguez said.

LGUs and private companies need MPAs or multi-party agreements to order vaccines from manufacturers, which will require approval from the DoH and NTF.

Rodriguez, House Rep. Sharon Garin and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier sought to look into the pending requests of 42 LGUs and around 300 private companies to procure around 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.

As of Sept 19, only 16.77% or 18.56 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated, while 22.85 million are partially vaccinated. Around 64.38 million COVID-19 doses has so far arrived in the Philippines.