The OCTA Research Group proposes to pour 90 percent of the supply of COVID-19 vaccines into the National Capital Region (NCR), which remains the epicenter of the pandemic in the country.
According to professor Guido David of OCTA, although there is an increase in the number of new cases in some provinces, the focus on the NCR should still be a priority.
“Some of them are having an increase, but the caseloads are not really significant. And right now, we are only seeing a few LGUs (local government units) with significant number of cases outside the NCR. So, it’s not really as alarming as it sounds,” said David.
As a result, the NCR should be provided 90 percent of the vaccine supply and allocate the remaining 10 percent to health workers and senior citizens elsewhere.
“Think about it as the head of the snake. So, if you want to kill the pandemic, you have to cut the head off. So the reason why there are cases rising in other regions of the Philippines is because there are cases moving from the NCR to these regions,” explained Fr. Nicanor Austriaco ng OCTA.
OCTA proposes giving 90% of vaccine supply to NCR
“If we are able to cut the head of the snake off, the NCR, you will see that the cases that are rising in the other LGUs will also decrease,” he said.
So far, according to the government, 65 percent of the vaccine is available in Metro Manila, while 35 percent is for the rest of the country.
According to OCTA, based on the trend of the arrival of vaccine supply, it is unlikely that the target of 70 million in the country will be vaccinated before the end of the year.
But if there is a recalibration of the strategy, herd immunity in Metro Manila may be achieved, and many industries will be able to return to normal operations by December.
“Prioritizing it (NCR) for now will be a very good strategy not just to jumpstart economic recovery, which would help the whole country by the way, but also reduce in a very drastic way the epidemic,” said Ranjit Rye of OCTA.