RACE TO HERD IMMUNITY
By Helen Hernane
Herd immunity is achieved once a percentage of the population becomes immune to a disease, restricting the spread of the disease from person to person. The result is protection for the entire population, not just for those who are immune.
How many of the world’s population of 7.9 billion
people must be immune to achieve this goal? The threshold varies for every disease. Experts placed the threshold for COVID-19 at 60 to 70% or more than 5.5 billion. According to Johns Hopkins University as of writing, more than 3
billion people all over the world are vaccinated. A little over 30% of the global population is vaccinated, but only half are fully vaccinated.
The data, unfortunately, is far from simple. Vaccines are unevenly distributed and low-income countries are suffering drastically. “Vaccine inequity is the world’s biggest obstacle
to ending this pandemic and recovering from COVID-19,” World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “Economically, epidemiologically and morally, it is in all countries’ best interest to use the latest available data to make life-saving vaccines available to all.”
DE-ESCALATING ARMED CONFLICT IN MINDANAO
By Herman Joseph S. Kraft
It is part of Philippine political lore that PNoy, as President Aquino was more popularly known, ascended to the presidency on the strength of a wave of sympathy following the death of his
mother, former President Corazon C. Aquino, just prior to the 2010 Philippine national elections. His campaign messaging of “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” caught the imagination of the electorate.
PNoy’s administration, however, was more than just his name and a catchy turn of phrase. He should be remembered for his attempt to strengthen the institutional elements of Philippine democracy. In an earlier piece I had written for this magazine (“Strong Institutions, Fragile Democracies,” Vol. 4 No. 2, February-
March 2021), I mentioned the importance of institutions in the sustainability of democratic governance.
That article also noted how much the nature of Philippine politics had undermined its democratic institutions, and in the process, made Philippine democracy very fragile indeed. In a document that was a first for the Philippines, the Aquino administration published the National Security Policy 2011–2016: Securing the Gains of Democracy. In this document, Philippine national security was very much linked to the fragility of its democracy. The need to strengthen institutions was effectively an underlying but nonetheless key element in safeguarding the country’s security.
COVID-19 VACCINATION IN THE PHILIPPINES
IS IT A CHOICE OR AN OBLIGATION?
By Atty. Herbert Hernane & Atty. Deo Hermo
The Philippine government’s implementation of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Program brings a plethora of legal considerations. Inevitably, not all Filipino citizens are onboard with the vaccination program due to fear of possible side effects, religious or personal beliefs, or other considerations. This becomes relevant as government restrictions are loosened, businesses begin to reopen, and the country begins acclimatizing toward the “new normal,” which largely depends on the success of the
government’s vaccine program and the attainment of herd immunity among Filipino citizens.
With these in mind, we shall discuss the current
vaccination policy in the Philippines in relation to
employment requirements. We shall also clarify if the failure or refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19 could be a ground for arrest or criminal prosecution and if parents can refuse the vaccination of their minor children.
PH ADMINISTERS 31M DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINES
Race to herd immunity
Since the vaccination drive started on March 1, 2021, the total number of administered COVID-19 vaccines has reached nearly 31.5 million doses.
Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. announced the figure during the briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte in the last week of August.
On average, around 430,000 jabs are administered per day. As of writing, over 13 million individuals have been fully vaccinated (with a second dose), while a little over 18 million have received their first dose. “[The 13 million individuals] represent 17.34% of our 70% targeted population and also, 12.13% of our total population,” Galvez said.