The Philippines’ herd immunity target could be extended to January 2022 said Department of Health Secretary (DOH) Francisco Duque III on Friday (June 25). 

Duque noted that the extension of the herd immunity plan is reliant on ‘the adequacy of COVID-19 vaccine supply.’ 

“So more or less matatapos mo ng mga November to December. At the most pwedeng umabot hanggang January. Again, all of these depends on the adequacy of the supply,” Duque told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.

He notes that logistical issues and delivery delays could also play a part in the extension.

To achieve herd immunity in the country, the administration plans to innoculate 70 million Filipinos – 70 percent of the total population. 

If the national government aims to reach the goal within the year, they would have to vaccinate 500,000 people every day for four and a half months. 

Another issue that could potentially delay the herd immunity target is the interval of the vaccines. Some vaccines used in the country require a four-week interval between the first and second dose. 

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca anti-COVID-19 jabs require a 12-week interval between shots. 

At present, the country is delivering 350,000 vaccines a day. And according to Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., the Philippines could reach its benchmark for herd immunity by November. 

Duque reiterated the importance of following health protocol standards and urged local government units to do their best in maintaining them. 

“Ang akin lang paalala sa mga pamahalaang lokal, mayors, governors, siguraduhin po natin na hindi tayo nagluluwag kasi ng ating pagtalima sa minimum public health standards,” he stressed.

“Ang problema, nag-GCQ ‘yung iba tapos nag-MGCQ, nagluwagan naman ang pagsunod, nawala ang disiplinadong pagsunod sa minimum public health standards. Ang laban na ito ay nakasalalay sa bawat Pilipino, bawat indibidwal. Hindi naman ‘yung parang wala tayong laban. May laban tayo dito,” he added.

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