National Task Force (NTF) Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon said achieving herd immunity in the National Capital Region (NCR) before Christmas could be just around the corner.
In a Palace briefing on Tuesday, May 24, Dizon bared that the national government is looking to inoculate 70 percent of the population in NCR and eight other areas considered “high risk” for COVID-19.
Once the vaccine supply in the country stabilizes, Dizon said, they are planning to vaccinate 500,000 Filipinos daily.
“Ang goal natin, bago mag-Pasko, naabot na natin ang goal natin na 70 percent [sa NCR]. Ang target per day dapat 120,000 sa NCR at 200,000 sa NCR Plus 8 (Our goal is to inoculate 70 percent of the population in the NCR Plus 8 before Christmas. The target per day should be 120,000 in NCR and 200,000 in NCR Plus 8),” the testing czar said.
NCR Plus 8 is comprised of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, Pampanga, Batangas, Cebu and Davao.
“Wala pa rin tayo dyan, pero kampante tayo na pag dumating ang mga bakuna kaya yang ibakuna ng ating [local government units], private sector, at iba-iba pang organizations na tulong-tulong nating gagawin pag dumating na ang supply (We’re not yet there, but we’re confident that once the vaccines arrive, our local government units, private sector, and various organizations will be able to help vaccinate more people),” he added.
“Kagaya nung nakikita natin sa ibang bansa, pag marami nang nababakunahan ng two doses nang buo ay nakakakita na tayo ng pagbaba ng mga kaso at pababa nang pababa ng mga namamatay dahil sa COVID-19. Dahil dun hindi na tayo matatakot na magbukas pa ng ating ekonomiya (As we have seen in other countries, when many Filipinos are already fully vaccinated, we will see a decrease in cases and a decrease in the number of deaths due to COVID-19. Because of that, we will no longer be scared to further open up our economy).”
Based on the data presented by Dizon, a total of 4,305,574 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered as of May 24.
Of that number, over 3.3 million Filipinos have received their first dose, while 986,929 Filipinos completed their second dose.
Dizon said the government will begin vaccination of A4 category or economic frontliners in NCR Plus 8 next month.
“Sa NCR Plus 8 mag-uumpisa na tayo sa A4 vaccination. Abangan lang natin sa mga susunod na araw lalabas na yung guidelines. Sa A5 [indigent population] naman, uumpisahan natin yung listahan ng 4Ps [Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program]. Bibigyan natin ng flexibility ang ating mga government chief executive para i-determine sino ang mga kasama sa A5 (We will start with A4 vaccination in NCR Plus 8. Let’s just wait for the guidelines to come out in the next few days. In A5, we will start with 4Ps members. We will also give flexibility to our local government chief executives to determine who will be included in the A5),” he added.
On Monday, May 24, Dr. Guido David of OCTA Research recommended the vaccination of 7 million people in Metro Manila to achieve “herd containment” before the end of the year.