Health Secretary Francisco Duque III insisted that the government’s target immunize up to 60 million Filipinos with COVID-19 vaccines is enough to achieve herd immunity.
Duque was responding to the statements of Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV) director Dr. Lulu Bravo that 50 million vaccines assured to the country are not enough to provide herd immunity.
“Hindi po tama ‘yung kanilang iniisip dahil nga po ang totoo nga po d’yan, matapos po kaming pinulong ni Pangulong Duterte noong Lunes ay malinaw na tayo ay nakapag-raise ng at least mga P73.2 billion for 60 million population,” Duque said.
“Yan po ang aming pinupunterya dahil nga po ang herd immunity ay puwedeng makamit, batay sa World Health Organization at mga dalubhasa, kung mababakunahan 60% to 70% of the population,” he added.
Bravo said if the vaccination requires two doses, the initial supply could only cover 25 million out of the over 100 million Filipinos.
“Kalahati na ‘yun ng ating population, dahil ang populasyon natin 110 million na yata, ‘di ba? So kung may 50 million, that is two doses, 25 million lang ang puwedeng mabigyan,” Bravo said.
“Kung two doses ‘yun, tapos ang mabibigyan mo lang is 25 million, one-fourth ng ating population, hindi pa ‘yun herd immunity, kasi sabi mo nga 60 to 70 percent,” she added.
Duque: 50M COVID-19 vaccines enough to achieve herd immunity
According to WHO, “‘Herd immunity,’ also known as ‘population immunity,’ is a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached. Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it.”
Last week, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Thursday the Philippines would be assured to get 30 to 50 million COVID-19 vaccines from drugmakers in China, United Kingdom, and the United States within the month.
However, Galvez said he could not disclose the price of the COVID-19 vaccine due to a confidentiality disclosure agreement between the Philippines and the manufacturers.
Galvez announced yesterday that over 35 million Filipinos would be prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.