Metro Manila health workers to first receive COVID-19 vaccine, says official
The government is eyeing to vaccinate first health workers in Metro Manila when the vaccine against coronavirus disease arrives in the country, a Palace official said on Tuesday.
This as Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said about 30 million Filipinos will get their COVID-19 inoculation through the local government units and the private sector.
"We have already identified the regions by priority and then we will go by sectoral vaccination. So per region, there are sectors to be prioritized, of course, the medical frontliners because they are the most exposed,'' said Nograles.
''So, we will start with NCR (National Capital Region) and then we will go down to the other regions like CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region, Region III, Region IV-A, Central Visayas, Davao Region, and then all the way until we finish all the regions and then all the medical frontliners that we have registered and then we go to the next sector, which is the senior citizens, etcetera and so on and so forth," he said.
Citing the report of the Department of Finance, Nograles said that P75 billion will be earmarked by the national government for the acquisition of vaccines for some 57 million recipients.
"When you add the 30 million Filipinos that will be covered by various LGUs and private sector vaccination efforts, a total of 70 million Filipinos should be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine," he said.
Some LGUs have earmarked fund and even entered into a multilateral agreement with the national government and AstraZeneca for the purchase of the vaccine. Some private firms also entered separate tripartite agreement for the vaccination program.
Nograles reiterated that Filipinos who would waive the opportunity to get the vaccine if they are included in the priority list would have to wait until other Filipinos have been vaccinated should they change their mind to have the inoculation.
He explained that since pharmaceutical companies would only be allowed to have their products to be used in the country through emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, the vaccines would not be sold in the market where anyone could avail the product whenever one wishes to buy. Celerina Monte/DMS