Unless the government accelerates the pace of its COVID vaccination efforts, herd immunity may have to wait until about 2033, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson stressed Friday.
Lacson also said there is still much room for improvement in the government’s response to the pandemic, a year after it imposed community quarantine in Metro Manila to stop the spread of COVID.
“Unless we accelerate the pace of vaccination, medyo matatagalan tayo. As of March 10, 114,615 had been vaccinated. At the rate of about 4,000 a day, assuming that the vaccination is not accelerated and assuming we will have the vaccines for the 70-million targeted population for herd immunity, we might not achieve herd immunity until 2033 at the rate we’re doing it now. But if we accelerate and I hope the government would accelerate the vaccination rollout, then maybe we can advance the timetable,” he said in an interview on CNN Philippines.
He added the supply side will have to be considered, and not just the logistics part of making the vaccines reach the arms of targeted individuals.
“We really need to procure and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. is scrambling to really work on the supply. We can only hope na walang gaps ang deliveries para walang hinto at instead, tuloy-tuloy ang bakuna,” he said.
Lacson also said that while there have been “good moves” such as the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew at least in Metro Manila and the government’s use of police power as we are still under a state of public health emergency, there is much room for improvement.
“The recent move to impose curfew at least in Metro Manila is a good move. And the government should really use its police power because we’re still under a state of public health emergency under Presidential Proclamation 922,” he said.
He also reiterated there is a problem with Malacanang rating its response to the pandemic as “excellent” because it means it no longer sees any more room for improvement.
“Kung ganoon ang attitude and they already rated themselves as doing an excellent job, hindi na sila mag-i-improve kasi sagad na. So we have a problem if they actually believe it,” he said.
The problem with Malacañang’s claim of excellence in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic is if they actually believe it.
— PING LACSON (@iampinglacson) March 9, 2021