MANILA - Inoculating more than half of the country's population against the coronavirus will be enough to create "herd immunity" but minimum health standards should still be observed, an infectious disease expert said Wednesday.
The Philippines plans to spend P73.2 billion to vaccinate 60 million Filipinos, officials earlier said.
A high efficacy rate is needed to immunize fewer Filipinos, according to Dr. Rontgene Solante, head of adult infectious disease at the San Lazaro Hospital.
"With that you’ll be able to achieve more than 50 percent of the population that will create an immunity even to those na di pa nakatanggap ng vaccine dahil majority na ng population ay nagdedevelop ng antibody para di maka-spread ang virus," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(With that you’ll be able to achieve more than 50 percent of the population that will create an immunity even to those who have not received the vaccine because majority of the population is developing antibody so the virus can't spread.)
"Paigtingin pa rin ang health protocols na ginagawa habang meron tayong bakuna na binibigay sa mga tao," he added.
(We should still implement health protocols while we inoculate the public.)
Healthcare workers should be prioritized, followed by those with comorbidities, essential workers, and the elderly, Solante said.
The Philippines as of Tuesday reported 421,722 cases of COVID-19, with 386,792 recoveries, 8,185 deaths, and 26,745 active infections.