NTF eyes vaccinating adjusted target population before 2022 elections

Published October 6, 2021, 11:43 AM

by Martin Sadongdong

The National Task Force (NTF) Against the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), is targetting to inoculate 80 to 90 percent of the total 110 million population in the country before the 2022 elections.

A Manila resident receives a coronavirus vaccine at the vaccination hub located at SM Manila on July 6, 2021. (Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. said they raised the initial target of 70 percent or 77 million eligible population to 80 to 90 percent or around 88 million to 99 million due to the threat of the Delta variant.

“In order to achieve an effective population protection and herd immunity, we need to raise the target to 80 to 90 percent because we have seen the experiences of other countries like Singapore and Israel,” Galvez said, citing the surge of cases in the countries he mentioned despite vaccinating 70 percent of their population.

“So in our plan, we need to finish the vaccination of the people by February, before the election period. So that just in case there occurs violations [of minimum publc health standards] at least the people are vaccinated,” he continued.

The NTF has recalibrated the national vaccination program against COVID-19 “to ensure the sustainability of supply, secure access to the latest generation of vaccines, and complete the immunization of 80 to 90% of the country’s population by the first quarter of 2022.”

This, after Galvez admitted that the government could only achieve 50 percent of the original target of vaccinating 77 million Filipinos by the end of the year to achieve herd immunity.

Galvez said that the updated vaccination plan will be presented to the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) for its approval.