MANILA - The Philippines should start identifying specific persons from sectors that are prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Vice President Leni Robredo said Sunday.
While she approves of the prioritization being planned now for those to be inoculated when the vaccine arrives in the country, Robredo said she suggested that specific names be collated during the waiting period now.
“Halimbawa, health care workers. Dapat alam na natin, ilan ba sila, sino sila? Para ‘pag dumating, meron nang recipient. Hindi yung gawin natin yung listahan ‘pag nandiyan na yung vaccine,” Robredo said.
(For example, the health workers. We should know already how many of them, and who among them. So that, when the vaccine arrives, we know already who the recipients are. Let’s not prepare the list only when the vaccine is already here.)
“Ang suggestion ko sana, tao-tao na,” she added.
(My suggestion is, we go by individuals already.)
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said last week that the Philippines will have access to the coronavirus vaccine of the United States after Moderna and Pfizer announced the more than 90-percent efficacy of their respective products.
"We have firm commitments from the United States... that we will have access po to COVID vaccines that may be developed in the United States," Roque said, disclosing that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo relayed this information to Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.
Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte will allow the emergency use of coronavirus vaccines and has approved an advance payment to their private developers
The Department of Health said first in the priority to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are frontline health workers, numbering over 1.7 million.
They are followed by indigent senior citizens (over 3.7 million), remaining senior citizens (over 5.6 million), remaining indigent population (nearly 13 million), and uniformed personnel (over half a million).
Robredo said the data can be collated from local government units.
Officials project the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine to arrive in the country by the second quarter of 2021.
As of Saturday, the Philippines has recovered nearly 417,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 33,224 are active infections.