With the country’s continuing COVID-19 immunization campaign, the Department of Health (DOH) MIMAROPA hopes to achieve herd immunity in the region by the first quarter of 2022.

According to data provided by Dr. Mathew Medrano, DOH-MIMAROPA medical officer III and incident commander of vaccination operation officer, in the region, 17 percent of the total target population, or more than 400,000 out of 2.2 million people, were already completely vaccinated.

“If ever by the end of 2021 or kung magoverlap ng kunti  ay January or February next year ay makakamit na natin ang herd immunity dito sa region. But we are hoping by the end of this year ay makakapagbakuna na po tayo ng 2.2 million individuals,” he said.

As of October 10, Medrano reported that they had collected 801,953 doses of vaccines from the eligible population.

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“Currently ay 17 percent ang fully vaccinated and that’s almost 400,000 of our targeted 2.2 million which is ating tinatawag na targeted population for our herd immunity,” Medrano added.

Medrano clarifies that it is still dependent on the volume of vaccines received by the region. He said that about 600,000 vaccines would be delivered in October.

He said that 1.2 million vaccines need to be delivered each month in order to establish herd immunity by 2022, but this is being delayed owing to worldwide demand.

“Ang nakikita talaga natin na target ay 1.2 million of vaccines per month to reach herd immunity. Pero pi-push ng national government na mareach ang target delivery for the region,” he said.

Medrano further said that the immunization of the general public has already begun this month in accordance with Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No. 141.

Under the resolution, vaccination of the pediatric population, meaning those aged 12 to 17, using vaccines granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), would be piloted in a staged manner as decided by the National Vaccination Operations Center.

“Although start na ito but will still be priotitizing ang mga health worker, senior citizens at mga essential workers. Pwede na tayo magbakuna sa lahat ng ating mga adult population especially we are expecting more vaccines to come in the coming months,” he said.

“E-expand din nain ang vaccination roll-out to sa mga LGU to cover the target population dahil kailangan natin i-maximize ang momentum ng pagbabakuna,” Medrano added.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.