Who will get AstraZeneca COVID-19 shots? Up to advisory body, says Palace exec

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2021 01:04 PM | Updated as of Mar 04 2021 01:38 PM

A health worker displays a vial of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, during the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast March 1, 2021. Reuters

MANILA — The National Immunization Technical Advisory Group will determine which priority groups could receive COVID-19 shots from Britain's AstraZeneca, an initial batch of which will be delivered to the Philippines on Thursday, a senior Malacañang official said. 

Authorities have discussed the “possibility of using AstraZeneca again for the frontline and medical workers natin na (who are) senior citizens,” said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles. The drug regulator, he noted, had not recommended the use of the Philippines' first vaccine batch from Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech for the elderly.

“We will leave it to the NITAG to give us their recommendations in terms of kung anong brand ng vaccine ang puwedeng gamitin sa anong sektor ng population, maging iyon sa prioritization ng sectors ng population,” Nograles said in a press briefing. 

(We will leave it to the NITAG to give us their recommendations in terms of what vaccine brand can be used for which sector of the population, and even the prioritization of the sectors.)

The Philippines is set to get later Thursday 487,200 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. 
 
“Itong brand na ito ay idadaan muli sa recommendations ng NITAG… We will wait for the advise of the NITAG in terms of saan gagamitin itong AstraZeneca vaccine,” said Nograles. 

(This brand will again go through the recommendations of NITAG. We will wait for the advise of the NITAG in terms of where the AstraZeneca vaccine would be used.)

The NITAG earlier rejected a proposal by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to allot COVID-19 shots for "influencers" who might help boost the public's vaccine confidence, Malacanang said Tuesday. 

All Cabinet members are “willing [to get vaccinated] if it is something that will really help boost up the confidence level,” Nograles said. 

“But again, we defer defer to the decision of the NITAG… given that we have limited stock right now, in this first quarter,” he said. 

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