The Philippines can fully reopen its economy with at least 50% of the population vaccinated against COVID-19, the country's immunization czar said Wednesday, citing the experience of other countries.
COVID-19 cases in Israel, United Kingdom, and the U.S. went down significantly after they vaccinated 30% of their population. In Israel, cases further went down after 50% of its population was immunized, said Sec. Carlito Galvez.
"Makikita natin yung threshold kapag nakuha natin yung 30%, maganda na, we can open some restrictions. And at 50%, nakikita natin na we can open fully yung economy natin," Galvez told ANC.
The Philippines is targeting to vaccinate 50% of the population by the end of the year to achieve "population protection". Galvez said he was optimistic that the country could meet the target, initially at 70%.
"We have the numbers. Nakita natin yung highest natin ay 237,000. Imagine ang na-activate pa lang natin is more than 3,000 vaccination sites," he said.
For instance, Metro Manila can achieve herd immunity if it can administer 120,000 vaccines per day, Galvez said. This requires each of the 1,200 vaccination sites in the region to deliver 100 doses daily.
At present, Galvez said vaccination sites in Metro Manila can do as much as 500 vaccinations per day.
"Ang pinaka-ultimate goal natin ay yung disease elimination. Makukuha natin yan once na ang lahat ng ating population ay nabakunahan na," he added.