Biz groups push for immunization of 50% of NCR adults

Notable business organizations, together with the OCTA Research Group are backing the clamor to inoculate first at least 40-50 percent of all adults in the National Capital Region (NCR) and its neighboring provinces against Covid-19 to allow the country’s devastated economy to fully reopen, at least for the coming Christmas season.

This was the result of the meeting between business groups, led by Go Negosyo and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Tuesday, with OCTA, in which the latter presented data that inoculating at least 40 percent of NCR plus eight key provinces will be enough to achieve “population protection”, at which point damaging surges in cases of COVID-19, and resulting lockdowns can be prevented.

According to the OCTA team, new COVID-19 cases per day will be brought down to just 1,000 for the entire country and 140 new cases per day in the NCR as the average daily attack rate will be reduced to less than 1 per 100,000 per day, prompting the economy to fully be reopened at this crucial stage.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion again pushed for the pace of vaccination to speed up as the vaccines start arriving this month to immediately open up more sectors of the economy and save more jobs and our micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that are bearing the brunt of mobility restrictions.

He said achieving herd immunity, which means vaccinating at least 70 percent of the population, is still the fighting target this year.

“But given the time and resource constraints, the more viable alternative is to at least vaccinate 40-50 percent of the population in NCR plus 8 provinces in Calabarzon and Central Luzon that together account for more than half of the country’s gross domestic product,” according to Concepcion.

With this, he said those vaccinated then stand to enjoy greater mobility and access, while senior citizens will be allowed to go out and people will get to travel freely without the need for testing.

“All this can be triggered if we are able to achieve population protection or inoculation of 40-50 percent of the people in NCR. Then we can have an ‘old normal’ Christmas this year,” Concepcion added.

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