It is still possible to reach herd immunity in the National Capital Region (NCR) and eight other places in the country against COVID-19 by Christmas if the government ensures that the Delta variant originating from India will not spread in the Philippines.
Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, a member of OCTA, said he is confident that herd immunity will be achieved with NCR Plus 8 even though only 2.25 million or 3.87% of the population were fully vaccinated on June 22. It was also learned that 8.9 million doses of the vaccine were distributed by the government.
“Given the numbers, our hope that we will reach herd immunity in NCR Plus 8 by Christmas is reasonable. This does not take into effect the Delta variant,” said Austriaco.
Currently, only 17 cases of Delta variant have been reported in the country where one patient died.
The Department of Health (DOH) has already announced that they target to vaccinate 108,000 individuals per day in Metro Manila, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, Rizal, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao, which could be done due to the arrival of more vaccine now.
Herd immunity at Christmas on NCR Plus 8 possible
But neither should the government be complacent about possible Delta variant surges that cause surges in India and now in some countries in Africa.
“Over the past year and a half, we have a surge when there’s a new variant. It’s now coming down after the arrival of Alpha and Gamma variants. Now we have to protect ourselves against Delta,” said Austriaco.
Abalos told ANC that the national government is expecting to have 15 million more COVID-19 vaccines by August.
“We’re very confident, at least for one dose, we could really achieve this number,” Abalos said.
According to the Department of Health, population protection reduces the number of deaths and hospitalized patients through vaccination.