Duterte aims for PH herd immunity by end-2021 or early 2022

Published July 28, 2021, 2:46 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

With coronavirus vaccination vital to the safe reopening of the economy, the government is aiming to reach herd immunity by the end of the year or early 2022, President Duterte said in a final report to the nation.

President Rodrigo Duterte receives his second shot of Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on July 12, 2021. (Malacañang)

The President said the government intends to inoculate 50 to 70 million people across the country to meet the herd immunity goal.

The country has so far secured more than 31 million doses of coronavirus vaccines with over 6 million Filipinos vaccinated since the government’s inoculation program started last March.

“Essential to the re-opening of the economy is the effective and expeditious implementation of the country’s vaccination program,” the President said a 2016-2021 accomplishment report released by the Palace on July 27.

“The country’s vaccination program started on March 1, 2021. It aims to achieve population protection by November 2021 through the inoculation of about 50 to 60 percent of the population in NCR (National Capital Region) plus 8 (i.e., Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, and Rizal); and herd immunity by end-2021 or early 2022 through the vaccination of about 50 to 70 million people nationwide,” he said.

According to the President, accelerating vaccination program and keeping the coronavirus case load at minimum level would help boost business and consumer confidence that are crucial to economic recovery.

To help attain the vaccination goal, Duterte thanked the government’s partners, including local government units, the private sector and multilateral partners, for the continued support for the vaccination program.

“Along with our strict implementation of COVID-19 mitigation efforts, our vaccination program provided the country an added leverage in handling the pandemic,” he said.

The country’s vaccine supply will be given a boost when the jabs for the private sector are expected to arrive this August, Duterte noted.

“This will greatly contribute to the safe reopening of more economic activities that would help in the recovery of various industries affected by the pandemic,” he said.