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PH eyes 'scaled-up vaccination' by April—do you already know which priority group you belong in?

By BROOKE VILLANUEVA Published Mar 30, 2021 12:52 pm

President Rodrigo Duterte wants to hasten the vaccination of medical workers against COVID-19 to make way for other individuals in the priority list.

In a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duterte said, "They must go now. They must look for a way to have the vaccine ahead of time."

Around 668,018 medical workers have been vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Monday, March 29. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez reported that they are looking into a “scale-up vaccination” by April and May, targeting 500,000 to 1,000,000 per week. They have secured two million doses for the month of May, he added.

Such target marks will go up in the months to come, should there be enough vaccine supply by then. 

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. brought up simultaneous vaccination of priority groups to speed up the process, which they have been doing for those under Priority Group A1, A2, and A3. 

According to the Department of Health, prioritization is placed “to reduce mortality” and “to preserve the health system capacity of the country.”

“The current COVID-19 vaccines reduce risk of severe disease and risk of death, and are most suited for those with higher risk of exposure and death,” the agency explained.

Priority Eligible A includes workers in frontline health services (A1), all senior citizens (A2), persons with comorbidities (A3), frontline personnel in essential sectors including uniformed personnel (A4), and indigent population (A5).

Those under Priority Eligible B are teachers and social workers (B1), other government workers (B2), other essential workers (B3), socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk other than senior citizens and poor population based on the NHTS-PR (B4), Overseas Filipino Workers (B5), and other remaining workforce (B6).

The rest of the Filipino population not otherwise included in the above groups are under Priority Group C

All of the mayors in the National Capital Region are dedicated to maximizing vaccination of health workers and senior citizens. By April 1, they can begin the inoculation process on seniors. By May, they can start vaccinating those under A4 and A5.