Gov’t ‘off target’ to reach herd immunity by December, must vaccinate 250k Filipinos daily — Robredo

Published March 22, 2021, 10:03 AM

by Raymund Antonio

Vice President Leni Robredo said the government was “so far off the target” of reaching herd immunity by December this year, and called on authorities to ramp up vaccination of Filipinos to 256,993 daily.

(Photo by MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

“We are so far off the target at the rate we are going now,” the opposition leader said in a Facebook post on Sunday, March 21.

Robredo agreed that the government was right to target the inoculation of 73,500,000 Filipinos to reach herd immunity, which happens when the virus can’t spread in a community because it keeps on encountering people who are protected against the virus.

“We need to improve our vaccine rollout,” the vice president said to achieve December goal.

Based on the figures released by the Department of Health (DOH), the government was only able to vaccinate 269,583 health frontliners from March 1 to 17.

That represented merely 23.95 percent of the 1,125,600 vaccine doses that it received from China’s Sinovac as a donation and from Oxford AstraZeneca through the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX facility.

This only averages 15,857 per day, Robredo said.

With only 286 remaining days between today and December 31, the vice president emphasized the need for the government to vaccinate 256,993 people per day to reach herd immunity.

While acknowledging the problem with the supply chain, Robredo also stressed the importance of maximizing the vaccine supply the country has now.

“Totoo na problema pa ang supply ngayon. Pero yung konting supply na dumating sa atin, hindi pa natin ma deploy with speed and dispatch (It is true that there is a problem with supply now. But what little supply that arrived here, we cannot even deploy with speed and dispatch),” she said.

Robredo questioned the fact that the government hasn’t even utilized 50 percent of the vaccines, which covers the first jab of both Sinovac and AstraZeneca.

“Papaano na kung 70 million na yung available? (What will happen if there are 70 million available?),” she asked.

The country kicked off its vaccination drive on March 1 after 600,000 doses of Sinovac from China arrived.

On March 4, 487,200 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by Oxford AstraZeneca arrived through the COVAX facility with another batch of 38,400 delivered on March 7.

 
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