WITH the state of public health emergency due to Covid-19 now lifted, the Department of Health (DOH) is not spending any cent to purchase vaccines for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in 2024.
This as there is zero budget allocation for any Covid-19 vaccines for next year, Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said in a press conference on Friday, December 15, 2023.
"In the budget for 2024, we didn't put any item for Covid-19 vaccines," said Herbosa.
He said this is because they believe that Filipinos have already achieved the highly sought herd immunity from Covid-19.
"We've vaccinated 78 million Filipinos, both primary doses and booster. Also, about 5 million Filipinos got infected through natural immunity. Therefore, the immunity of Filipinos against Covid-19 is already high," said the health chief.
He also said that they would rather have Covid-19 vaccines made available after undergoing the normal registration process for health products.
"Remember that the vaccines are experimental, so we are awaiting for their final registration," said Herbosa.
He said that the best weapon against Covid-19 is no longer the vaccines but rather employing personal protective methods.
"We learned that the solution is minimum public health standards and managing your own personal risks," said Herbosa.
Based on the latest available data, there are already 78.4 million fully vaccinated individuals in the country as well as 23.8 million boosted population. (SunStar Philippines)