An infectious diseases expert on Friday urged the government to defer the implementation of Alert Level 0 until the country reaches a 90-percent vaccination rate.

“Ang isa sa mga importanteng factors [para mag-Alert Level 0] – kung ako ang tatanungin – is kung sana maabot natin ang 90-percent vaccination rate ng population natin,” Dr. Rontgene Solante said in a “Laging Handa” briefing.

Nearly 64 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated as of March 9. Some 62.6 million have yet to receive their second doses.

Initially, the country’s herd immunity threshold was 70 percent, or about 70 million Filipinos, before officials changed it to up to 90 percent, or about 90 million Filipinos.

“In itself, medyo mataas-taas na ang rate natin. So, hindi na tayo matatakot sa mga spike or a little spike or surge of the Covid-19,” Solante said.

The country’s vaccination rate has been on a decline since February.

This prompted the government to launch a three-day national vaccination drive that aims to administer at least 1.8 million Covid-19 doses. John Ezekiel J. Hirro