House bill seeks mandatory vaccination for herd immunity
The Philippine Star|April 27, 2021
A senior administration lawmaker yesterday filed a bill in the House of Representatives that aims to achieve “mandatory” herd immunity for 110 million Filipinos.
DELON PORCALLA

Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., chairman of the House committee on natural resources, filed House Bill 9252 for purposes of attaining herd immunity, based on the “general welfare” clause of the 1987 Constitution where government is bound to protect its citizens.

“As legislators, we have a legal responsibility to pass a law to further prevent the introduction, transmission and spread of COVID-19 and address our present crisis,” he said. “A person who is not vaccinated is a risk to the lives of others and to the general public.”

However, the Department of Health (DOH), through Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, has expressed opposition to Barzaga’s proposal.

Barzaga – a certified public accountant and lawyer by profession – pointed out that a mandatory mass COVID-19 vaccination program is a must in order to solve the present global pandemic and achieve local herd immunity, where at least 70 percent of the country’s population are inoculated.

“In order to safely achieve herd immunity, a substantial proportion of a population would need to be vaccinated. This would lower the overall amount of virus able to spread in the whole population,” he explained.

“One of the aims with working towards herd immunity is to keep vulnerable groups who cannot get vaccinated, especially those who, due to health conditions, safe and protected from the COVID-19 virus,” Barzaga pointed out.

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