MANILA - Government needs to vaccinate 500,000 people daily or 3 million per week in key metropolitan areas and 6 provinces to achieve herd immunity by November, the official leading the country's immunization drive said Monday.
The Philippines has so far administered 3,001,875 COVID-19 jabs since it began its inoculation program in March, said vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
"Projection po natin magkakaroon po tayo ng 2 million (vaccination) this May. Kayang-kaya po natin ang 2 million this May," he said in a recorded meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 aired Tuesday morning.
(We project we can conduct 2 million vaccination this May. It's achievable this May.)
Metro Manila, which currently conducts 60,000 to 70,000 daily vaccination, needs to inoculate 120,000 of its residents daily to achieve the target, according to Galvez.
"Pag nabakunahan na po natin ang A1 (health workers), A2 (senior citizens), atsaka A3 (persons with comorbidities), yun na po ang tinatawag natin containment. Na-contain na natin ang hospitalization at contamination sa vulnerable person," he said.
(If we finish vaccinating the A1 to A3 priority list, then we have achieved containment. We have contained the hospitalization and contamination of vulnerable persons.)
"Pag nakuha natin kaagad ang population na 16 million ng A1 to A3, malaki po ang pagasa natin na hindi na po tayo magkakaroon ng lockdown kasi kayang-kaya na po ng ospital natin at kayang-kaya na po natin i-manage ang ating pandemic."
(If we immediately achieve the vaccination of 16 million A1 to A3 priority list, there's a huge chance that we won't ever need to lockdown since our hospitals can take it and we are able to manage the pandemic.)
The country needs 15 million vaccine doses per month to achieve its target in key areas by November 27, he said. Of this figure, 3.3 million would go to Metro Manila, while Metro Davao and Cebu would receive 450,000 and 350,000, respectively, he added.
The Philippines is set to receive some 7.7 million COVID-19 vaccines this month, of which 500,000 are from Chinese drugmaker Sinovac scheduled to arrive on May 20, Galvez said.
Some 2.2 million Pfizer COVID-19 jabs will also arrive through global vaccine alliance COVAX Facility and 1.3 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V.
In June, the Philippines is expected to receive 10,050,000 COVID-19 vaccines, of which 4.5 million are from Sinovac, 3.3 million are from AstraZeneca (1.3 million for the private sector), 250,000 doses of Moderna (50,000 for the private sector), and 2 million Sputnik V jabs.
The country needs to inoculate 50 to 70 million of its population to achieve herd immunity by end of year, Galvez earlier said.