As Delta variant looms, up to 85% of population needs to be vaccinated for herd immunity — ex-DOH official

Published August 24, 2021, 1:37 PM

by Gabriela Baron

A former official of the Department of Health (DOH) said on Tuesday, Aug. 24, that up to 85 percent of the population needs to be fully vaccinated to achieve herd immunity amid the threat of the more contagious Delta variant.


The national government is aiming to vaccinate 70 percent of the population before the end of the year.

“Because of the Delta variant, which is much more transmissible than the ordinary strain that we had, we now have to increase the number of people who need to be vaccinated,” former DOH Secretary Dr. Esperanza Cabral said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

“It’s what scientists tell us that if we’re looking at herd immunity from the Delta variant, it has to be much more than 70 percent and should probably reach 85 percent,” she noted.

Aside from vaccinating the country’s adult population, Cabral urged the national government to also consider inoculating the younger population amid more variants.

“Apart from the fact that the variants are coming our way, we are going to need to protect not just the adult population, but even those of younger age.”