Gov’t targeting COVID-19 vaccination of 50 to 60 percent of population

(Eagle News)–The government is targeting vaccinating 50 to 60 percent of the population for COVID-19.

In an interview on Friday, Nov. 20, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said this was an increase from the initial 20 percent discussed.

With the vaccination of 50 to 60 percent, Vergeire said the Philippines was hoping to achieve herd immunity, or resistance to the spread of an infectious disease because of the high number of individuals immune to the same.

Earlier, the government said it would prioritize the poor, health workers and government frontliners in the vaccination.

“So it is really important that we can expand coverage with this target that we have but as we have said we will be prioritizing specific populations first and then we can roll it out and hopefully we can achieve the 60 percent targeted population,” she said.

So far, five COVID-19 vaccine makers have applied for the conduct of clinical trials in the Philippines.

These were Sinovac, Janssen, Sputnik V, Clover Biopharmaceuticals and AstraZeneca.

Before their clinical trials can push through, their applications need to be approved by a Department of Science and Technology panel of vaccine experts.

They will then need to secure clearance from  the Food and Drugs Administration and the Ethics board.

So far, China’s Sinovac was the only one cleared by the DOST panel.

US company Moderna has announced its COVID-19 vaccine was  94.5 percent effective.

Prior to this, Pfizer announced  its own vaccine was more than 90% effective.