MANILA - Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez on Wednesday said it is still possible to vaccinate 70 percent of the Philippines' population by the end of the year, but that the economy can reopen with at least half of the population getting the COVID-19 shot.
He said the experience of countries like Israel, the United States, and United Kingdom showed that COVID-19 cases, hospitalization, and deaths decreased when 30 percent of the population received the vaccine, and the numbers declined further when they reached 50 percent.
"Nakikita natin yung threshold na pag nakuha natin yung 30 percent, maganda na, we can open up some restrictions. And then at 50 percent, nakikita natin na we can open up fully yung economy natin," he told ANC's Headstart.
"But still, ang target pa rin namin—kasi we have the numbers—kaya pa ring 70 percent ng ating population by the end of the year," he said.
(We see that when we reach the 30 percent threshold, it's good, we can open up some restrictions. And then at 50 percent, we see that we can open up fully the economy. But still, our target is—because we have the numbers—we can still do 70 percent of our population by the end of the year.)
He said in Metro Manila, 70 percent can be inoculated if 120,000 jabs are done per day. This means each of the 1,200 vaccination sites must perform at least 100 injections daily. He said the capital region was able to "breach" this target as some sites were able to do up to 500 injections.
The Philippines is expecting to receive about 9.95 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from various manufacturers this month. Officials will also lead a "symbolic rollout" to the A4 category or economic frontliners by June 7, said Galvez.
A vaccination site that can inoculate up to 6,000 individuals daily will also be opened on Friday, he said.
According to the monitoring done by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group, some 5.18 million doses have been administered as of May 30. Of this number 1,206,371 were for the second dose for full protection against the disease.