MANILA—The Department of Health will be allocating additional vaccine supply up to 30 percent in the 10 areas outside of the National Capital Region experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases.
“We’re looking at 25 to 30 percent each for the Visayas and Mindanao. Iyan ang magiging range ng support natin. But, of course, magbabago pa rin iyan kasi depende nga sa metrics (tulad ng) average daily attack rate and health care utilization rate, ICU bed utilization rate,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Friday.
(We’re looking at 25 to 30 percent each for the Visayas and Mindanao. That’s going to be our range of support. But, of course, that may still change depending on the metrics)
Malacañang said on Thursday that the 10 areas — Bacolod, Iloilo City, Cagayan De Oro, Baguio, Zamboanga City, Dumaguete, Tuguegarao, General Santos, Naga, and Legazpi City — would be part of the priority in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
The distribution priority was previously limited to the so-called NCR Plus 8 area, including Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, and Rizal.
“Nasa low risk naman na ang NCR Plus. Nire-recalibrate natin doon naman sa nagkakaroon ng surge. Dinadala natin ang mas maraming bakuna, pero hindi ibig sabihin na ititigil mo pagbabakuna dito sa NCR. Sinasabi lang natin maglalagay tayo dagdag doon sa mga lugar in a surge,” Duque said.
(NCR Plus is now at low risk. We're recalibrating to supply in areas that have a surge. We're giving out more vaccines, but that doesn’t mean we'll stop the vaccination here in NCR. It just means that we will be allocating additional vaccines in areas where there is a surge.)
The Philippine government is targeting to achieve herd immunity by vaccinating 70 percent of its population.
“Pero in the interim, dahil hindi pa sapat ang bakuna, ang tinitingnan natin is population protection mga 50 to 60 percent in geographic settings, ito iyong mga lugar na nagkakaroon ng high cases or a spike,” Duque said.
(But in the interim, because vaccine supply is not enough, we're looking at population protection, around 50 to 60 percent in geographic settings. Geographic settings are areas with high cases.)