MANILA - The COVID-19 vaccination of the general adult population in the Philippines has begun while the inoculation of children with comorbidities will start Friday, the Department of Health said Monday.
The government made the move last month after the initial rollout of jabs to five priority sectors: health workers, the elderly, people with health risks, essential workers, and indigents.
Guidelines for the general public's vaccination are based on the resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force against Emerging Infectious Diseases and a DOH memorandum, said the agency's spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
"Ito pong ating pagbabakuna sa general population ay nag-uumpisa na o pwede nang umpisahan ngayon among our adult population," she told reporters.
(The vaccination of general population has begun or may begin among adults.)
"Gusto lang namin manawagan sa local governments, sana po magkaroon tayo ng special or dedicated lanes para sa senior citizen at para sa ating taong may comorbidities."
(We call on local governments to designate special or dedicated lanes for senior citizens and persons with comorbidities.)
It is up to local governments whether to open the vaccination for walk-in or require registration, she added.
Logistics are also being prepared for the inoculation of children aged 12 to 17 with health risks, Vergeire said as she assured government has the capacity to monitor adverse effects.
"Kung tatanungin tayo kung handa sila as to technical capacity, yes, we have that capacity to detect and manage these kinds of reactions," she said.
(If we will be asked if they're ready regarding technical capacity, yes, we have that capacity to detect and manage these kinds of reactions.)
"'Di po natin kailangan ikabahala, dahil 'di ibibigay ng gobyerno ito kung makakasama sa ating mga kabataan. Lagi natin tatandaan, kapag binigay, the benefit outweighs the risks."
(We don't need to worry, government will not give the vaccine if it's bad for children. Let's remember that if it's being given, the benefit outweighs the risks.)
Almost 86.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to the country, as of Sunday, of which, more than 49.6 million have already been administered.
More than 23.1 million individuals are already fully vaccinated, while nearly 26.5 million others have received their first doses.
The Philippines rolled out its vaccination program last March 1, a day after it received its first supply of the anti-coronavirus jabs.
The country has confirmed a total of 2,666,562 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Sunday, of which 90,927 or 3.4 percent are active.