Bivalent Covid-19 vax to be offered first to health workers, elderly, people with comorbidities—DOH

Coronavirus vaccines have been prepared for distribution at a vaccination site in Manila on May 18, 2021. (Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

Health workers, senior citizens, and individuals with comorbidities are first in line to receive the bivalent Covid-19 vaccines once these become available in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

The DOH previously said that prioritization strategy will first be implemented due to the limited quantity of bivalent vaccines that will initially arrive in the country.

In a statement on Thursday, Feb. 2, the DOH said it already "secured an initial donation of around one million doses of bivalent Covid-19 Pfizer vaccines from COVAX facility."

These vaccines are expected to arrive in the country "before the end of March," the DOH said.

"For this initial donated batch of bivalent vaccines, the A1 (Health Care Workers), A2 (Senior Citizens) and A3 (individuals with co-morbidities) shall be prioritized in line with the conditions set by the COVAX Facility," the DOH said.

"Once additional doses are secured and available, prioritization may be expanded to other priority groups," it added.

The DOH said it is currently finalizing the guidelines on the use of the bivalent vaccines.

"Rest assured that the guidelines shall be issued in time for the implementation of the roll-out of the vaccines in the country," it said.

"Currently, different strategies and allocation mechanism are being studied by DOH, taking into consideration acceptability, equity, and operational efficiency in utilizing the vaccine," it added.