Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said that the Philippines may achieve herd immunity this year.
“The ultimate goal of the President’s [Rodrigo Roa Duterte] policy directly is lahat ng Pilipino ay dapat mabakunuhan, [ all Filipinos should be vaccinated],” Duque said during the Senate hearing on Monday. But he never discounted the fact that there are “supply limitations”.
Achieving herd immunity this year is the “best-case scenario” for they are hoping to vaccinate 70 million Filipinos from February next month until the end of 2021.
But for National Task Force against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., it would depend on the demand and supply of the vaccines given the restrictions on global supply of the vaccine in 2021.
“We might be having sort of shortfall,” Galvez said adding that the herd immunity may be achieved first quarter of 2022. He said that they target 50 to 70 million to be vaccinated this year.
Galvez said that next month, they expect that next month, 50,000 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine is expected to arrive in the country.
He added that additional by March they are expecting 950,000 doses and one million doses by April to arrive in the country.
He said that they are negotiating with 7 to 8 vaccine manufacturers.
In an earlier interview with the media, Galvez said that they have secured 148 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines for this year.
A total of 4,512 fixed vaccination points in the country had been established.
“Sisikapin ng ating bawat vaccination team na makapagbakuna ng 100 pasyente po sa isang araw [We will make sure that each vaccination team will vaccinate 100 patients per day] Duque said.
Duque said that each vaccination team will be composed of six workers.
He explained that a physician, nurse or midwife will be in charge of screening and assessment; one allied professional or volunteer for health education; a doctor, nurse, or midwife who will vaccinate; and two health workers or volunteers from partner agencies who will be tasked for documentation and taking of vital signs.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 cases in the country surged to 489,736 on Monday.
Image credits: Roy Domingo