The national government will adjust its vaccination target plans because of the global shortage in vaccines, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said that from the original plan of vaccinating 70% of the population or 70 million Filipinos by the end of the year for the country to achieve herd immunity, the government will reduce it to 50% to 60%, specifically in Metro Manila to achieve immediate protection.

“We were looking before at targeting 70 million na Filipinos by end of this year or early next year. Medyo ni-refocus natin ito at ang target natin ay about 50 to 60%. Naka-concentrate iyan sa NCR Plus para mas mapabilis,” she said in a media briefing.

However, the original 70 million target could still be achieved if global supply improve, she added.

The DOH is also using a new jargon from “herd immunity” –– a global term to define a population immune to a specific disease ­­–– to “population protection through mass immunization.”

“We are shifting to the term ‘population protection through mass immunization’ kasi po iyong ating herd immunity, marami pong mga kaakibat na mga criteria,” she said.

The DOH also announced that 1,340,337 or 85% health workers in the country have already been vaccinated for the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine. Ronald Espartinez