3M Filipino seniors still unvaccinated vs COVID-19 – WHO

Published October 25, 2021, 1:52 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas


Around three million senior citizens in the country have yet to be vaccinated against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), an official of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday, Oct. 25

Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO representative to the Philippines, made the disclosure in public briefing as he underscored the need to vaccinate the elderly population before administering a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines.

“In this allocation of third dose, we continue to urge that priority should be given to offer first and second dose to who have not had access to vaccines and then we start the third dose administration with the most elderly,” Abeyasinghe said in a public briefing.

To do this, the WHO official said the administration of the third dose must start with those severely immunocompromised, followed by persons over 80 years old, then persons over 70 years old, and lastly those over 60 years old.

“This is what our position is now so that we maximize the benefit of the third dose in those groups who will be receiving third dose,” Abeyasinghe said.

“But again the priority is to provide the first and second doses to those who have not been able to get a single shot, which is about three million people unfortunately still in the Philippines among the elderly,” he added.

Based on the National COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard, a total of 4,596,925 senior citizens under A2 priority group have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Oct. 24.

Meanwhile, Abeyasinghe said the WHO recommends a third dose for immunocompromised persons, noting that they are not capable of developing and sustain the level of immunity needed to protect them from severe disease and death.

Moreover, he said that the WHO issued a recommendation to administer a third dose for those who got Chinese vaccines Sinovac or Sinopharm for their first and second doses.

“We have said that our position now is that a third may be provided to immunocompromised people if they finished their two doses,” he said.

“And then we will also recommend a third dose for elderlies of above 60 years who received either Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccines,” he added.