Persons with comorbidities now among priorities for COVID vaccination; Recipients of first Pfizer vaccines bared

Published February 5, 2021, 10:41 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Persons with comorbidities are now included in the priority population to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Malacañang revealed Friday.


Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (iNITAG) adopted the following priority population groups for vaccination:

  • A1: Frontline workers in health facilities both national and local, private and public, health professionals and non-professionals like students, nursing aides, janitors, barangay health workers, etc.
  • A2: Senior citizens aged 60 years old and above 
  • A3: Persons with comorbidities not otherwise included in the preceding categories 
  • A4: Frontline personnel in essential sectors including uniformed personnel and those in working sectors identified by the IATF as essential during ECQ 
  • A5: Indigent population not otherwise included in the preceding categories
  • B1: Teachers, Social Workers 
  • B2: Other Government Workers 
  • B3: Other essential workers 
  • B4: Socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk other than senior citizens and indigenous people 
  • B5: Overseas Filipino Workers 
  • B6: Other Remaining Workforce 
  • C: The rest of the Filipino population not otherwise included in the above groups

According to Roque, the iNITAG underscored that any specific inclusion and exclusion criteria of each vaccine, as reflected in the respective Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or recommendations from the Health Technology Assessment Council shall be considered.

Meanwhile, the Palace official said choosing areas for sub-prioritization will be based on:

  • COVID-19 burden of disease (these are the current active cases, attack rate per 100,000 population in the past 4 weeks, and population density)
  • Vaccination site and/or Local Government Unit readiness, particularly, its supply chain capability. 

Pfizer vaccines

Roque also said the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases adopted the recommendation on the allocation of the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines that are set to arrive this month.

The first tranche of the said vaccine brand is allocated for healthcare workers in the following:

  • All the COVID-19 dedicated hospitals
  • COVID-19 referral hospitals
  • Department of Health (DOH)-owned hospitals
  • Local government unit hospitals
  • Hospitals for uniformed services/personnel
  • Private hospitals

Roque said this week that the Philippines is set to receive 117,000 doses of vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech through the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility.

The COVAX Facility, which the Philippines joined, is a mechanism designed to guarantee rapid, fair, and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.