OCTA fellow backs vaccinating NCR, nearby provinces first


Posted at Apr 14 2021 01:48 PM | Updated as of Apr 14 2021 01:59 PM

MANILA - Prioritizing vaccination in the National Capital Region and its adjacent provinces given the limited supply of COVID-19 shots would help jumpstart the economy, a fellow of the OCTA Research Group said Wednesday.

Ranjit Rye said while this suggestion may court complaints from other regions, he believes re-allocating the scarce supplies "spatially"—while still following the risk-based approach of vaccinating health care workers first, then senior citizens, then people with comorbidities, etc—would boost the overall fight against COVID-19.

"If we believe that if the pandemic is a snake in the country, the head is in the NCR and the Calabarzon. So if you cut the head off—I’m sorry if you’re a snake-lover—we believe that will have an impact on the overall war against COVID. We’ll probably be able to open up at least the economy if we’re able to see the decline in these centers where majority of the cases are," he told ANC's Headstart.

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"If we do this, we might not achieve herd immunity, but we will achieve a situation of decline in cases and a possibility, a very good basis for opening up the economy," he said.

This is one of the models to be put forth in an upcoming report OCTA Research is drafting, said Rye.

The Philippines on Tuesday posted 8,571 more COVID-19 cases, bringing the country's total number of coronavirus infections to 884,783. Active infections reached 165,534, accounting for 18.7 percent of the country's cumulative total cases.

The Department of Health, in its situation report issued on Tuesday, said there were 78,885 active cases in NCR and 29,733 in Calabarzon, the region comprised of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, and Rizal. Of the day's additional cases, 5,129 were from Metro Manila and 2,317 were from Calabarzon.

Monitoring done by ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group shows that 287,999 inoculations have so far been administered in the NCR and 80,419 in Calabarzon for the first dose, and 21,746 and 895 for the second dose respectively. The sum in these 2 regions accounts for about 32 percent of the total number of doses administered across the country.


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