DOH to study inclusion of foreigners, athletes in COVID-19 jab list

Published February 10, 2021, 6:06 PM

by Analou de Vera

The Department of Health (DOH) is set to look into the possibility of including foreigners living in the Philippines in the list of beneficiaries for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines. 

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that they are open to such possibility, given its benefits to the Filipino populace.

“Sa isang rational point of view, since they are here and since they also interact with Filipino people baka dapat kasama (From a rational point of view, since they are here and they also interact with Filipino people, maybe they should be included),” said Vergeire in a press briefing on Wednesday, Feb. 10.

“Ito naman po ay isang bagay sa tingin ko,  makakatulong sa atin kapag ginawa natin ito (This is something I think will be beneficial for us when we do this),” she added. 

Meanwhile, Vergeire said they are also studying the proposed inclusion of  Filipino athletes in the COVID-19 vaccination priority list, particularly those who will be participating in the Tokyo Summer Olympics and the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi this year. 

She said it will be the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) which has the final say on the appeal of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go.

“For now, we stick to our priorities. Of course, this will be considered because there is a request and it is something the government would like to pursue when it comes to sports,” she said. 

“Tingnan natin. Pag-uusapan iyan. Definitely, hindi para baguhin ang priority listing natin. Walang sektor na mawawala just because may ganitong request, (Let’s see. That will be discussed. Definitely, not to change our priority listing. No sector will be removed just because there is such a request),” she added.