Even as the nationwide COVID-19 inoculation ramps up, the Philippines is only likely to achieve herd immunity by 2023 due to the country’s relatively slow vaccination pace, said UK-based think tank Pantheon Macroeconomics.
As of June 21, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the Philippines has administered eight million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine – translating to 1.9% of the population now fully vaccinated. It’s a long way from the earlier projection of inoculating 70 million people by the end of the year.
However, this week, the Philippines signed a supply agreement of 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine – its biggest vaccine procurement to date. The country has now secured the delivery of 113 million doses overall, and Pfizer deliveries are expected to begin in late September.
Despite the slow progress, economic pundits are expecting the economy to be fully reopened and back to strength soon. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III admits that the Philippines “may be behind” other neighboring economies. However, he said, “the country’s recovery will be stronger on the back of its sound economic fundamentals.”
Private employers have collectively pledged to create one million jobs over the next six months – focusing on the outsourcing, electronics, construction, and tourism industries.