Govt seeks revision of current Covid vaccination strategy


The government is considering a parallel vaccination strategy that will include senior citizens and service workers in addition to the mass inoculation being done to the nation’s healthcare workers, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Monday.

In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte during a meeting on government’s coronavirus disease (Covid-19) intervention, Galvez said they are building the Vaccine Deployment Scenario with the help of the private sector, particularly the Ayala Group and the Custom Consulting Group. In the scenario, various groups will be designated to handle the vaccination of different sectors.

“This is to comply with your your guidance that we will have a general public vaccination,” Galvez said partly in Filipino.

Inoculating a portion of the country’s general public alongside frontline medical workers could potentially offer the nation better protection from the deadly coronavirus disease compared to the initial plan of vaccinating healthcare workers only, he explained.

Galvez, who is also the chief implementer of the National Task Force Against Covid-19, also reported to President Duterte that other countries like the United States, Israel, and Indonesia have adopted such strategy by vaccinating the next “segments” even if previous segments are not yet fully immunized.

For instance, the US vaccinated 11 percent of its healthcare workers on the first month of vaccination drive before proceeding to inoculate essential workers, the elderly, and those with existing medical conditions.

Israel, on the other hand, first vaccinated 91 percent of its senior healthcare workers before inoculating 50 percent of the residents aged 55 and above; 40 years old and above; 35 years old and above; and 16 years old and above.

Likewise, Indonesia inoculated 98 percent of its healthcare workers before proceeding to vaccinate 4 percent of the elderly population; 15 percent of its public service workers; and essential workers.

With a steady supply of vaccines, Galvez said the government can also implement simultaneous vaccination campaign, targeting to inoculate 500,000 to 1 million people per week in April or May.

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