TWENTY-THREE highly urbanized cities in the country have already achieved herd immunity against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said on Monday, December 7, 2021.

These cities include San Juan, Mandaluyong, Pateros, Marikina, Taguig, Pasay, Las Piñas, Parañaque, Manila, Muntinlupa, Makati, Valenzuela, Quezon City, Navotas, Pasig, Malabon, Caloocan, Baguio, Angeles, Iloilo, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Davao.

“Out of the highly urbanized cities ay umaabot po na 23 siyudad ang umabot na po ng 70 percent and up na fully vaccinated,” Año said during President Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk to the People Address aired on Tuesday, December 7.

“So ibig sabihin po, almost sa target population ay nakamit na ang herd immunity sa target population,” he added.

Department of Health (DOH) data showed that as of December 6, 92,752,986 doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered, with 53,492,838 as first dose.

A total of 38,699,023 individuals have been fully vaccinated, while 561,126 got their booster dose.

Duterte said aggressive immunization will enable the country to overcome the pandemic.

“Better days ahead because since December 1, we have been on average of 500 to 600 and the number of active cases continues to go down. I’m talking about the Covid,” he said.

“Sa Davao nga last week, there’s only one. Very impressive. We continue to see downward trend of the positivity rate, now only less than two percent. This means that for every 100 persons tested for Covid-19, only a maximum of two people turned out to be positive,” he added.

Duterte expressed optimism that Filipinos well have a good Christmas this year.

The government aims to further ramp up the country’s vaccination program as it is again set to hold the second leg of three-day national vaccination drive from December 15 to 17.

Experts consider the Covid-19 vaccination as the country’s protection especially against the threat of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529), which was first detected in Botswana and then in South Africa. (SunStar Philippines)