San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora has said in a statement that they are close to achieving herd immunity against Covid19, with a little under 8,000 doses left to go. 84,806 residents of the city have already gotten their second Covid19 vaccine dose. In order to achieve herd immunity, they only need to fully vaccinate 7,953 more residents.
In an interview with ANC, Zamora shared that the numbers mean the city is “nine percent away from herd immunity”, with 91% of their target population already vaccinated. The city’s current goal is to have 70% of their 132,512 total population vaccinated by the end of August.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), herd immunity (sometimes known as population immunity) is protection from an infectious disease brought on by a population gaining immunity through previous infection or vaccination. However, WHO explicitly states that achieving herd immunity against Covid19 must be done through vaccination, not exposure to any disease-causing pathogens.
“Attempts to reach ‘herd immunity’ through exposing people to a virus are scientifically problematic and unethical. Letting Covid19 spread through populations, of any age or health status will lead to unnecessary infections, suffering and death,” WHO states on its official website.
A substantial percentage of a population should be vaccinated for herd immunity against Covid19 to be achieved safely. That is because it lowers the virus that could possibly spread within the population. WHO says that aside from protection from getting the disease, vaccinated people also break transmission chains since they don’t pass the pathogen on either.
As of August 8, the Department of Health reports that over 24 million doses of vaccines have been administered across the country. Out of that number, only a little under 11,400,000 have gotten both doses. There’s still a long way to go on a national scale since the population of the Philippines is currently at around 111,000,000.
Back in July, it was reported that San Juan led a shortlist of only four cities that had already achieved at least half of its target population inoculation. Bedridden residents of Barangay Batis were vaccinated with single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines last August 4, with Zamora spearheading the effort.
San Juan’s first-dose rollout is at 97 out of every 100 people. The city was one of the first to begin vaccinations against Covid19, starting with senior citizens in late March. Economic frontline workers were vaccinated beginning in June.