Palace hopes to complete vaccinating health workers, move on to elderly soon

Published March 3, 2021, 10:35 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang is hoping to complete vaccinating the country’s healthcare workers against the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) soon so it can move to protect the senior citizens against the deadly respiratory disease.

(Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP / FILE PHOTO)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement as the government started to vaccinate health workers with the CoronaVac vaccine donated by the Chinese government.

In an interview with Super Radyo DZBB, Roque said the Palace is hoping to finish vaccinating the medical frontliners the soonest time possible.

“Sa lalong mabilis na panahon sana matapos natin ang health workers– 3.4 million po ‘yan (We are hoping to finish, as soon as possible, vaccinating our health workers– there are 3.4 million of them),” he said Wednesday morning.

The Palace official added that the Palace is looking forward to the upcoming COVID-19 vaccines because these will be used on the country’s senior citizens.

“Pagkatapos po sana ay meron na tayong makuha para sa mga seniors dahil yun na po ang ating susunod na target (After we’ve vaccinated all health workers, we hope that we can get vaccines for the seniors because they are our next target),” Roque said.

The National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) 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 Meanwhile, the Palace official said that choosing areas for sub-prioritization will be based on:     

COVID-19 burden of disease (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.

On March 1, the government started vaccinating 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 The government rolled out its vaccination program against COVID-19 with 600,000 doses of CoronaVac vaccines donated by the Chinese government.

The vaccine brand, however, is not recommended for those over 59 years old.

The Philippines is expecting to receive 1 million more doses from Sinovac and 525,600 doses from AstraZeneca.