Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr reiterated the geographical and sectoral priorities for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Ngayong malapit na po ang bakuna, tulad ng sinabi ng ating Vaccine Czar, uunahin nating bibigyan ng COVID-19 vaccine ang mga lugar na maraming kaso ng COVID-19, tulad ng Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, at Davao. Ito po yung geographical priority,” said Secretary Roque during a press briefing on December 7.
Aside from geographical priorities, vaccine distribution will also take into consideration the so-called sectoral priorities. Secretary Roque, who is concurrent spokesperson of the government’s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), said that in the last meeting of the IATF, the sectoral priorities were defined to identify who will be among the firsts to receive the vaccine.
The Palace official said that frontline healthcare workers top the list of sectoral priorities. “Obviously po kinakailangang bigyan na sila ng bakuna ng magawa nila yung kanilang katungkulan na walang atubili. Sila ang nangunguna sa ating laban sa COVID-19, natural lamang na sila ang mabigyan natin ng proteksyon laban sa virus,” Sec. Roque said.
Frontline health workers that will be prioritized for the vaccine will include health workers in public and private facilities, public health workers, contact tracers of local government units, barangay health workers, among others.
Next in the vaccine priority list are the elderly indigent citizens followed by the rest of the senior population. The elderly will be followed by the rest of the indigent population, and last will be all uniformed personnel.
Roque said that more than 24.6 million Filipinos will be given priority. He added that the government will order a total of 60 million doses of the vaccine good for 30 million people.
On some suggestions that top government officials be first to get the vaccine to allay public fears, Roque said that it is up to the official’s personal decision if he or she would want to be among the firsts to receive the vaccine.
“Ang importante po is to develop what Dr. Lulu Bravo said last week na confidence, na dumaan po sa tamang proseso itong mga bakuna at ito po ay napag-aralan na unang-una ligtas, at pangalawa po epektibo laban sa COVID19,” Roque said.
The Palace spokesman also underscored that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte would be the perfect tool to communicate the safety of getting vaccinated for COVID-19. “Kung papayagan na po ng FDA (Food and Drug Administration), I think po mangunguna ang Presidente at nag-volunteer naman po siya, the fact na gustong-gusto na niya,” Roque remarked.
In the same press briefing, Lance Gokongwei, JG Summit Holdings President and CEO, confirmed that his company is part of the government-private sector initiative that is raising funds to secure doses of a COVID vaccine for the Philippines.
Gokongwei revealed that the private sector has so far committed more than three million doses of the vaccine, which he said costs about P800-Million. He also confirmed that at least half of the vaccines to be acquired will go to the Department of Health for the equitable distribution of the vaccines. ### OPS-PCOO