Philippines to use 'geographical, sectoral' strategy for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 24 2020 02:28 PM | Updated as of Nov 24 2020 02:52 PM

The word "COVID-19" is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration taken Nov. 9, 2020. Dado Ruvic, Reuters/File

MANILA — The Philippines will employ a geographical and sectoral strategy for distributing the future coronavirus vaccine, Malacañang said Tuesday, some 8 months into varying degrees of lockdown to curb the pandemic.

Priority will be given to COVID-19 "hotspots" like Metro Manila, Davao City and Bacolod City, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

From these areas, indigents, vulnerable sectors, health workers, soldiers, police officers and other frontliners will be targeted for inoculation, he said.

"From geographical, magiging sectoral [ang istratehiya]," he told reporters.

(From geographical, the strategy will be sectoral.)

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The Philippines is negotiating with 4 vaccine makers, namely China's Sinovac, AstraZeneca from the UK, US-based Pfizer, and Russian Gamaleya Center for procurement.

The government aims to vaccinate 60 million Filipinos against COVID-19 next year, said Roque.

Last week, Duterte approved advance payment to private developers to ensure that the Philippines would get a supply of the drug. He is also set to authorize emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines, said Roque.

The Philippines as of Monday has recorded over 420,000 cases of COVID-19, with more than 8,000 deaths.

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