The race is on
But only those with comorbidities—those without are not covered by the Department of Health policy. The point is the Philippines is raising its vaccination coverage to cover 90 percent—that’s nearly 82 million—of the country’s population, after the highly transmissible Delta variant ramped up herd immunity thresholds for the coronavirus disease. Only a month back, the country’s vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. told the House of Representatives that the target had become higher than the original 70 percent officials had their sights on—the new target of 90 percent coverage to be realistically attained in 2022 at the earliest. The rationale has been that most of the health experts in the United States and those at home say the concept of herd immunity can only be realized by increasing the target population coverage by 80 to 90 percent. There is indeed a need to protect as wide as possible segments of the population to enable the authorities to open up doors for the resumption of economic activities, which have been hobbled to a screech since the pandemic breathed down the population in March last year. But there is also a need to get substantial feedback on the limited face-to-face classes in pilot schools in designated areas for health authorities to appreciate and where they can proceed in mapping out subsequent measures to implement.