Philippines starts vaccine rollout for general adult population
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government will now start vaccinating the general adult population, the Department of Health announced on Monday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual briefing that the Philippines now has enough supply of vaccines for this rollout.
Speaking in Filipino, she said: “We are announcing the start of COVID-19 vaccination on general adult population. According to our vaccine cluster, headed by vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., we now have enough vaccine supply against COVID-19.”
But Vergeire urged local government units to prioritize senior citizens and those with comorbidities in vaccinating their constituents, as they are more vulnerable to severe symptoms of COVID-19 and hospitalization.
“We continue to call on our A2 and A3 [priority group] to continue getting their vaccines,” she added.
In a separate memorandum circular, the DOH said that the government is projecting the delivery of 100 million doses of vaccines in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The health department said that the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved last September 30 the vaccination rollout to general adult population.
But the DOH stressed: “Given that the eligible population under Priority Group A bears significant higher risk over the rest of adult population, they shall be prioritized in the provision of COVID-19 vaccination services.
“The categories under Priority Group A shall be retained, and its coverages shall be monitored on a regular basis,” it added.
The vaccination priority list covers health workers and their families, Overseas Filipino Workers, senior citizens, individuals with comorbidities, pregnant women, 12-17 year olds with comorbidities, workers in essential sectors and the indigent population.
The pilot vaccination of minors will cover the 12 to 17 age bracket and is set to start on October 15. Minors with comorbidities or health risks will be under the A3 priority group, while the rest will be classified as priority group C.
The first phase of the pilot vaccination will be done in selected hospitals. Eight hospitals in Metro Manila have registered for the rollout but hospitals from Iloilo and Cebu have also expressed interest to join the pilot.
As of October 10, the government so far administered 46,673,491 doses. There are 23,186,969 Filipinos who have so far completed their vaccines against COVID-19 while more than 26 million are waiting for their second jabs.
Health authorities on Monday reported 8,292 new infections, bringing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country to 2,674,814. — Kristine Joy Patag
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