COVID-19 vaccination not mandatory â Palace
According to the World Health Organization, herd immunity is achieved when a population gets protected from certain virus after reaching vaccination threshold.
AFP/Vincenzo Pinto

COVID-19 vaccination not mandatory – Palace

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - November 24, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — While the government wants everyone to have access to COVID-19 vaccines, immunization won’t be mandatory as only half of the population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, Malacañang said yesterday.

According to the World Health Organization, herd immunity is achieved when a population gets protected from certain virus after reaching vaccination threshold.

“According to DOH (Department of Health), we need to give vaccines to 50 percent of the population so we can have herd (immunity). To those who do not want to be immunized, we will just let them be,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing.

Roque noted that 66 percent of Filipinos are willing to be immunized from COVID-19 based on a recent survey by the Social Weather Stations.

The Duterte administration, Roque added, would borrow money from the Land Bank, Development Bank of the Philippines and multilateral lenders World Bank and Asian Development Bank to ensure enough funds to buy vaccines.

At the same briefing, Roque shrugged off stories, started by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, that Sen. Panfilo Lacson and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez have received COVID-19 vaccines.

Lacson, when sought for comment, said only that they often swap jokes at the Senate.

“If there are people who have been vaccinated, that did not come from the government. The assurance of the President is if they were bought by our government, the poorest people would be prioritized,” Roque said.

DOH spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not issued a license for any COVID vaccine.

She said resorting to unregistered vaccines should never be considered.

The official also warned vaccine manufacturers, distributors and sellers that marketing, distribution and selling unregistered vaccines is punishable under Philippine laws.

“Wait for the regulatory process to be completed before distributing vaccines. We are now talking about the lives of people here – public health should be protected,” she maintained. –Sheila Crisostomo

COVID-19 VACCINE
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