3 months enough time to give NCR residents 'population protection' from COVID–Abalos

Published June 23, 2021, 3:46 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos expects National Capital Region (NCR) residents to achieve “population protection” from the dreaded coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in as early as September this year.

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos (Ali Vicoy / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a statement Wednesday, June 23, the MMDA reckoned that the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) plays a key role in helping attain this target, particularly in ensuring the steady supply of vaccines from abroad.

“The numbers are encouraging; the pace of the vaccination is increasing. The national government, through NVOC and led by Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., ensures the steady supply of COVID-19 vaccines in Metro Manila,” Abalos said.

“If the jab numbers are sustained and further increase, with a steady supply of vaccines, we can have majority of Metro Manila’s population protected by end of September this year or hopefully earlier,” reckoned the MMDA head honcho.

He said this would include the Inter-Agency Task Force’s (IATF) priority groups under the A1 (frontline healthcare workers), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 (persons with comorbidities) categories, and other identified sectors of our society.

As of June 22, around 3.6 million of NCR or Metro Manila’s population of about 14 million have been vaccinated, Abalos said, citing data based on daily reports of the local government units (LGUs).

Of the figure, 2.8 million have received their first dose, while 877,958 have received two doses already. The NCR’s vaccination output is around 114,000 jabs a day.

Most COVID vaccine brands require two doses for full inoculation.

“Targeting at least 50 percent of Metro Manila’s 14 million population, around 14 million jabs would be needed and so far with the 3.6 million jabs done as of June 22, we would be looking at around 10.3 million jabs remaining. Given our daily average jabs, we will be having at least 3.4 million jabs per month. Therefore, the remaining 10.3 million jabs can be attained in three months or less,” explained Abalos, who survived an episode with COVID before receiving his first dose last March.

He enjoined all Metro Manila residents to have themselves inoculated. “Months after the launch of the mass vaccination campaign, more and more people are willing to get vaccinated,” he noted.

Abalos also praised the unrelenting efforts of the 17 Metro Manila LGUs in ramping up their vaccination capacities.

“I thank the Metro Manila mayors for their unified efforts to boost public confidence on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. As a matter of fact, they have increased their vaccination capacities and even doubled or tripled their jabbing capacity per day with the help of the private sector,” he said.