BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The 650,000 doses of COVID19 vaccines ordered by City Hall from pharmaceutical giant Astra Zeneca is enough for this urban center to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate recommended by the World Health Organization for communities to achieve hive immunity.
City Administrator Em Ang told DNX the 650,000 doses are enough for 325,000 residents who will each be given two shots each.
The vaccination course consists of two shots with an interval of four to 12 weeks apart.
Amid doubts that the doses purchased by the city are not enough, Ang broke down the figures to DNX, as she gave the assurance that the city can vaccinate at least seven out of 10 residents to reach the recommended rate of the WHO for herd immunity to occur.
The John’s Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health defines herd immunity in an article on its website as “(w)hen most of a population is immune to an infectious disease, this provides indirect protection—or herd immunity (also called herd protection)—to those who are not immune to the disease.”
Ang, a nurse by degree and a councilor for several terms, said City Hall calculated the buying of vaccines based on the 2020 projected population of 613,000.
From this number, 30 percent are minors, which cannot be given the Astra Zeneca vaccines since these are only for those aged 18 and above.
That leaves a figure of around 429,000 residents, some of whom would not have themselves vaccinated.
The 429,000 figure is 70 percent of the projected population here.
Ang also pointed out that apart from the 325,000 doses bought by the city using its allocated budget of P300 million, the national government would also send additional vaccines.
Even if the local- and national-bought vaccines may turn out to be not enough, Ang gave the assurance that Mayor Evelio Leonardia is willing to spend more to buy additional doses.
“We are well within range of hitting our target,” Ang said.