2.9 million get COVID-19 vaccine jabs; essential workers, indigent population next in line

Published May 17, 2021, 5:47 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

With plans to vaccinate 58 million people before the end of the year, the government has so far administered 2.9 million coronavirus vaccines, mostly benefiting health workers, since the inoculation drive started last March.


Of the 2,959,829 doses distributed, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said 2,245,397 people received the first doses while 714,432 got their the second shots as of May 15.

Based on the priority sectors, the recipients of the first COVID-19 jabs are 1,215,974 health workers (A1), followed by 589,943 seniors (A2), 430,525 persons with comorbidity (A3), and 8,955 frontline workers (A4).

Those who were fully vaccinated are 414,467 health workers, 82,999 seniors, 216,774 those with comorbidity, and 192 essential workers.

As more vaccine supplies are expected to arrive, Roque said essential workers falling under A4 priority group and the indigent population under A5 can be vaccinated starting June.

By August, he said the government can start vaccinating Filipinos belonging to B priority group.

In administering the vaccines, Roque said the government will prioritize areas with high numbers of coronavirus cases.

The “focus areas” of the vaccination are Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Bulacan, Cavite, Pampanga, Laguna, Batangas and Rizal. “Uunahin natin ang mga lugar na mataas ang COVID-19. Hindi ‘yan badge of honor (We will prioritize places with high COVID-19 cases. That’s not a badge of honor),” he said.

At least 42 percent of the vaccine supply will be reserved for Metro Manila and these high-risk COVID places, Roque said.

The remaining supply of 58 percent will go to the rest of the country, Roque said.

The “expansion areas will cover the following:

1. Region 3 (Central Luzon), Region 4 (Calabarzon), Cagayan de Oroo, Baguio City and Zamboanga City

2. Bacolod, Iloilo, GenSan, Iligan, Region 7 (Central Visayas), and Region 11 (Davao Region)

3. Region 10 (Northern Mindanao), Region 6 (Western Visayas), Region 8 (Eastern Visayas), Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), and Cordillera Administrative Region

4. Region 5 (Bicol Region), Region 1 (Ilocos Region), Region 12 (Soccsksargen) and Region 13 (Caraga Administrative Region)

“Ang suma total po, ang mababakunahan natin ay 83,829,719 at ang 70 percent po niyan ay 58,660,603,” he said (In total, we will vaccinate 83,829,719, and 70 percent of that is 58,660,603),” Roque said.

The government earlier announced plans to inoculate 70 million to achieve herd immunity before the end of the year. But authorities revised the vaccination target, saying the country needed to inoculate around 58.6 million or 70 percent of the 83 million population in the identified areas.

The government moved to accelerate the vaccination efforts after the country’s coronavirus cases soared past one million. The country has recorded 1.1 million cases of infections, including 19,262 deaths and 1,076,428 recoveries as of May 17.