Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – Some of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) restrictions could be lifted if the country is able to increase its "wall of immunity" through vaccination, specifically the administration of booster shots, a health official said Friday.

“This came also from the President himself, he said he can ease restrictions, pero may kondisyon, dapat tumaas ang pagbabakuna (but there is a condition, the vaccination rate must increase),” said Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire in a media forum. “For us to increase the wall of immunity, we need to provide at least 80 percent of the eligible population with their first booster shot."

Vergeire said around 47 million persons have to receive the first booster dose.

As of August 11, DOH data showed that more than 16.8 million individuals have received their first booster dose and almost 1.7 million got their second booster shot.

Citing that Covid-19 is deemed to stay, Vergeire said Filipinos must have a “shift in mindset” which includes focusing their attention on the number of severe and critical cases, deaths, and health care utilization rate.

“Aside from government interventions, kailangan, ang tao, alam nila kung paano proteksyunan ang kanilang sarili (people must know how to protect themselves),” she added.

The country remains under low-risk classification despite continued increase in Covid-19 infections at an average of 4,025 daily and 18.5 percent positivity rate -- both higher than the previous week. (PNA)