The Philippines’ target for reaching herd immunity against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) may not be within the year but in January 2022 “at the most,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Friday.
He said, however, that attaining herd immunity by January next year “depends on the adequacy of the supply,” explaining that if 500,000 people will be inoculated per day, it will take 140 days to vaccinate 70 million individuals, which is the ideal target for attaining herd immunity.
“So more or less matatapos mo ng mga (we will finish at around) November to December. At the most puwedeng umabot hanggang (it could reach) January,” Duque said in a television interview.
Duque also said that local officials should continue to enforce basic health protocols to contain the spread of Covid-19 even as the government’s vaccination program progresses.
“Ang akin lang paalala sa mga pamahalaang lokal, mayors, governors, siguraduhin po natin na hindi tayo nagluluwag kasi ng ating pagtalima sa minimum public health standards (My reminder to local government officials, mayors and governors is that we should not relax the enforcement of minimum public health standards),” he added.
As of the latest, the government’s daily average for administering Covid-19 vaccines is 250,000 per day but a record of 353,000 jabs was attained on Wednesday.