The national government would only need less than a month to vaccinate all health frontliners in the country, Malacañang on Sunday said as the country expects the first doses of vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) to arrive this month.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque assured that vaccination of health front-liners will finish quickly so that the other sectors included in the expanded priority list can immediately follow.
“We expect that this entire week, the entire next month, at least all medical frontliners and those in immediate priority will have started getting vaccinated. But it definitely won’t take longer than a month to finish vaccinating all medical front-liners),” he said in an interview over DZBB in Filipino.
Roque said the government has already completed its list of names of health frontliners set to be inoculated with the vaccine.
“In fact, we have completed listing the names of medical front-liners. In PGH (Philippine General Hospital), one of the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine, there are 5,000 names submitted. They said they can quickly vaccinate all 5,000 of them),” he said in Filipino.
Roque said the 117,000 doses will be used for health frontliners as identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
“All of it will go to health front-liners and it was already spelled out by IATF, first will be hospitals used as referral centers: PGH…the Lung Center and other hospitals, next would be DOH (Department of Health) hospitals, and then local government hospitals, and then private hospitals,” he said in Filipino.
He, meanwhile, allayed concerns that there would not be enough vaccines left for other sectors.
“The next vaccine that would come is AstraZeneca, it’s a big number, around 5 million doses of Astrazeneca will be coming,” he said in Filipino.
The Covid-19 vaccines arriving this month through the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility will only be 117,000 doses which can only protect 58,500 people as they need to receive two doses to protect them from the virus.
On Friday, the government released a new, detailed priority list in its Covid-19 vaccination program which now includes more sectors.
The list is as follows:
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 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 enhanced community quarantine
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: Rest of the Filipino population not otherwise included in the above groups
The priority groups have been approved by country’s Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (INITAG).