In order to achieve full herd immunity for the country against COVID-19, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said, mandatory vaccination might be necessary nationwide.
This was in reaction to previous remarks by Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) chief implementer, who said that an executive order with a vaccine mandate is likely in order for families to be protected.
“We’re looking [into it] because we will never achieve the immunity needed by our population,” Vergeire said during a press briefing, “if [others are] unvaccinated.”
She added that making it mandatory is one way of solving that issue.
Herd immunity, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is “indirect protection” against a disease that’s particularly infectious. It happens as people gain immunity through vaccinations or natural immunity.
It’s a clear backpedal from things she’d said back in April. At the time, she had said it was “the right of a person to decide on his own if he shall receive or will not receive the vaccine,” citing principles. Vergeire also brought up WHO’s recommendation to make vaccines voluntary.
In addition, she said people had a “moral obligation” to protect themselves, others, and the “whole population” against COVID-19. At the time, mandatory vaccination could not be implemented since vaccines were still in development.
During the recent briefing, Vergeire noted that there has been a tremendous improvement in vaccine confidence from before. This is strongly supported by research: the Social Weather Stations did a survey that found three out of five Filipinos (64%) are willing to get vaccinated.
Photo: The Manila Times