The Philippines shifted from aiming for herd immunity to “population protection” by the end of the year due to the limited supply of vaccines, a member of the government’s vaccine expert panel said.

Achieving population protection will require immunizing people at risk or 50% of the population, instead of 70 to 80% in herd immunity, said vaccine expert Rontgene Solante on Tuesday. 

“Ang magiging target natin eventually ‘pag matino na ang supply ng bakuna … ay itong herd immunity pa rin,” said Solante in the Laging Handa government briefing.

While waiting for more vaccines, the government is confident that hospitals won’t be full because of the new vaccination target, he said. Kelsey Telo