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.
It is a most difficult decision to strike a balance between flattening the curve of COVID-19 and the looming economic recession due to a wide swath of business inactivity.
Thus, it is better left to those who have almost unlimited access to all the relevant data to decide which is the best course of action to take moving forward.
Having said that, I am sure that if Congress is provided with all those data, we can help in the policy direction.
On the other hand, there is no perfect system of distribution of aid considering the number of families involved in the cash dole-out, further complicated by a less efficient database due to the late implementation of the National ID system.
Just as intelligence information can spell the difference between success and failure in my previous life in intelligence and law enforcement work, data is the key for our policy makers to make the right decisions at this critical time.
As the enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 threat continues, a grim reality is becoming more felt: it is not just lives that are at stake, but also livelihoods. For many, survival is indeed a priority, but what good is survival if they face the prospect of starving?
While we must concede that our individual rights and freedom must yield to our survival as country and people, creativity still plays a major role in balancing both sides of the equation and still satisfy both concerns.
Hence, law enforcement authorities may not be legally equipped to conduct arrest unless local ordinances are available for its enforcement.
For its part, Congress may need to amend R.A. 9271 to adapt to this new normal, the COVID-19, and God knows what else would come to hit us in the future. Hopefully we’ve seen the last of its kind even as we pray that cure will come sooner than soon.
Having said that, the people are enjoined to fully cooperate. After all, these are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures.
The Metro Manila “lockdown,” “community quarantine,” or whatever the authorities may call it, is one decisive action taken by the government that needs the support of our people, no matter the sacrifices or inconvenience it brings.
But then again, government must lose no time in coming up with practical but effective ways of implementing it to serve its real purpose for our country to survive this unprecedented crisis that we are facing.
For its part, the Department of Health’s Inter-Agency Task Force (DOH-IATF) should issue clear, simple and concise guidelines on dealing with COVID-19 to prevent confusion among the public, as so many doctors and medical experts have been expressing different opinions on it, particularly on its transmission.