Foreigners not yet included in gov't priority list for vaccination - Palace
By Celerina Monte
Foreigners in the Philippines are not yet included in the government's priority list for vaccination against coronavirus disease, Malacanang said on Tuesday.
In a text message to Manila Shimbun, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who is also the spokesman of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said the matter concerning foreigners will have to be decided by the IATF.
"Foreigners (are) not yet included in (the) plans," he said.
But Roque added, "except for volumes to be purchased by private sector."
Some private firms have entered into tripartite agreement with the government in purchasing COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca.
Half of the vaccine doses that they plan to purchase with the United Kingdom-based pharmaceutical companies will be donated to the government while the remaining half will be for their employees and staff.
Asked how foreigners, such as retirees who are not employees of any company in the country, could avail of the vaccine, Roque said, "IATF should decide on (it) since no one is safe unless all of us are safe."
He said that currently, the government's allocation for COVID-19 vaccines is for Filipinos only.
"So, we need to ask IATF," Roque added.
So far, the following are the priority groups for vaccination as approved by the IATF: Frontline workers in health facilities; senior citizens aged 60 years old and above; persons with comorbidities; frontline personnel in essential sectors, including uniformed personnel and those in working sectors identified by the IATF as essential during enhanced community quarantine; indigent population; teachers, social workers; other government workers; other essential workers; socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk other than senior citizens and indigenous people; overseas Filipino workers; other remaining workforce; and rest of the Filipino population. Celerina Monte/DMS