Herd immunity target: 80%
As of yesterday afternoon, the CNMI is just 275 individuals away from 70% of its eligible population being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The next goal? 80%.
The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. has set that 80% target so that the CNMI can claim herd immunity and begin to loosen COVID-19 safety restrictions. After reaching that goal, it is projected that this will allow those in the CNMI who are unable to receive their vaccines— such as infants and those with compromised immune systems— to remain safe from the virus.
Herd immunity is a type of protection against an infection/ disease that is achieved when a large portion of a population has built an immunity to an infection/ disease through past exposure or vaccination.
CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muña said Tuesday that it is a community effort to reach 70%, and she is hopeful that the CNMI will reach the 80% target soon. That means 4,513 more people will need to be inoculated against the COVID-19 virus.
“Reaching 70% represents the cooperation of our community in combating this virus. We are closer to our goal, and more work needs to be done, but the CNMI can do this,” said Muña.
Currently, the COVID-19 vaccination campaign Road to 80— which will run from July 12 to Aug. 28— has already begun awarding thousands of dollars to lucky raffle winners weekly. The campaign is made possible through a collective effort among CHCC, the Office of the Governor, the Marianas Visitors Authority, Joeten Enterprises, Inc., Bridge Capital, LLC, and TanHoldings.
When asked if Road to 80’s conclusion on Aug. 28 is CHCC’s target date to achieve herd immunity, Muña said the sooner the CNMI achieves herd immunity, the better.
“We would love to reach that goal sooner. The sooner we fully vaccinate 80% of the eligible population, the sooner most restrictions are removed. The more individuals we have vaccinated, the more protection we provide to our loved ones, our friends, and the whole community,” said Muña.
Those wishing to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations can schedule an appointment online at vaccinatecnmi.com or over the phone at 682-SHOT (7468).