The Department of Health says achieving ‘population protection’ in the National Capital Region is possible by November if the government’s current vaccination speed and scale are maintained. 

As previously defined by DOH, population protection means vaccinating at least 40 or 50 percent of the population in the NCR. 

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the country can reach the goal in four months if the current rollout of the vaccine is kept in the region.

“Based on speed and scale on how we do vaccination in NCR, it is possible,” she said during a press briefing. 

According to Vergeire, accomplishing the task could become easier if people in vulnerable sectors are inoculated first. 

So far, the national government has managed to vaccinate 11.7 million Filipinos since it started its COVID-19 vaccine rollout in March. Out of this population, 2.86 million have been fully vaccinated. says the country is averaging 234,659 vaccinations daily. At this rate, it will take the Philippines 1.5 years to fully vaccinate 70 million Filipinos to achieve herd immunity.

And at present, the rollout of vaccines has been expanded to accommodate the A4 group, which consists of essential workers. 

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Image credit: Rouelle Umali / Xinhua via Getty Images