Despite optimism Philippine vax targets not likely achieved until 2024

I’m with Mareng Winnie on this one. Monsod writes in her Inquirer piece “Galvez’s math leaves much to be desired” countering National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chair Carlito Galvez’s optimistic appraisal of the vaccination situation in the Philippines…

His arithmetic leaves much to be desired. He said that 19 to 25 million people will represent “population protection” or a “disease burden reduction.” But he equated that with the vaccination of A1 (health workers), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 (people with comorbidities), which he said is almost finished. According to his slide, A1+A2+A3 total 3.96 million people. How does the vaccination of 4 million people equal the 19 to 25 million people that will constitute “population protection”?

Government officials have this tendency to distort data when making presentations to their boss(es). Even by any measure of imagination, it will not happen that 70 million Filipinos will be vaccinated by the end of 2021. Both rich and poor countries have been having issues with vaccination. Vaccine hesitance is running high globally. In countries where it is most needed, vaccines are in short supply. You would think that the powers-that-be which make up the G7 would be inclined to act as one in order to achieve herd immunity for all of humankind but this is only the ideal and not the reality.

The bigger problem is even if herd immunity, by its definition, is achieved, it’s still not a guarantee that covid-19 is beaten. The virus continues to mutate and the new variants are more contagious and deadlier. All countries are caught in a devil and the deep blue sea situation because a delicate balance has to be struck between public health and the economy. You may survive covid-19 but unemployment may eventually kill you.

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) hasn’t been able to enforce its mandate. This is not surprising because the United Nations has largely been toothless since its establishment. It stands as a monument to the inability of the global order to act collectively in defeating a global threat to the human race. Data has shown that given the current pace, the country will hit the 70% of the population target only by 2024.

Two years is a long time in the present environment. Events continue to unfold. The next months are going to focused on two issues; the pandemic and the 2022 election. What holds true is the maxim that up to this point, uncertainty is the only certainty in our current situation.

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