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Spox: Less than a month needed to vaccinate health frontliners

The national government would only need less than a month to vaccinate all health frontliners in the country, Malacañang said yesterday as the country expects the first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to arrive this month.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque assured that vaccination of health front-liners will finish quickly so that the other sectors included in the expanded priority list can immediately follow.

“We expect that this entire week, the entire next month, at least all medical front-liners and those in immediate priority will have started getting vaccinated. But it definitely won’t take longer than a month to finish vaccinating all medical front-liners,” he said in an interview over DZBB.

Roque said the government has already completed its list of names of health front-liners set to be inoculated with the vaccine.

Roque said the 117,000 doses will be used for health frontliners as identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

He also allayed concerns that there would not be enough vaccines left for other sectors.

“The next vaccine that would come is AstraZeneca, it’s a big number, around 5 million doses of Astrazeneca will be coming,” he said.

The Covid-19 vaccines arriving this month through the World Health Organization-led Covax Facility will only be 117,000 doses which can only protect 58,500 people as they need to receive two doses to protect them from the virus.

On Friday, the government released a new, detailed priority list in its Covid-19 vaccination program which now includes more sectors.

The list is as follows:

A1: Frontline workers in health facilities both national and local, private and public, health professionals and non-professionals like students, nursing aides, janitors, barangay health workers, etc.

A2: Senior citizens aged 60 and above, A3: Persons with comorbidities not otherwise included in the preceding categories, A4: Frontline personnel in essential sectors including uniformed personnel and those in working sectors identified by the IATF as essential during enhanced community quarantine, and A5: Indigent population not otherwise included in the preceding categories;

B1: Teachers, social workers, B2: Other government workers, B3: Other essential workers, B4: Socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk other than senior citizens and indigenous people, B5: Overseas Filipino Workers, B6: Other remaining workforce, and;

C: Rest of the Filipino population not otherwise included in the above groups. The priority groups have been approved by the country’s Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group.*PNA

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