MANILA — Around 24.6 million Filipinos are on the government's priority list for its initial vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus, Malacañang said Monday, giving a lower figure than an official's earlier announcement.
Areas with a high COVID-19 tally like Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Davao are "geographical priorities" for the vaccination, Roque told reporters. From these areas, 24,668,128 "sectoral priorities" have been selected, including the following:
- 1,762,994 frontline health workers
- 3,789,874 indigent senior citizens
- 5,678,544 remaining senior citizens
- 12,911,193 remaining indigent population
- 525,523 uniformed personnel
They all account for more than 22 percent of the country's projected population of 108.8 million, as of the third quarter this year.
This figure is different from that given by vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galves Jr., who earlier said 35 million Filipinos are on the priority list.
The numbers presented by Roque are similar to what a Department of Health official reported to the House of Representatives last month.
The list shared by Dr. Aleli Annie Sudiacal of the DOH Bureau of International Health Cooperation to the House Committee on People's Participation also showed that teachers and school workers in the public and private sectors are 6th in the priority list, followed by the following:
- 7th: all remaining government workers
- 8th: "essential workers" in agriculture, the food industry, transportation and tourism
- 9th: sociodemographic groups in significantly higher risk areas other than the senior citizens and indigent population (persons deprived of liberty, persons with disabilities, and Filipinos living in high-density areas)
- 10th: overseas Filipino workers
- 11th: other remaining workforce
- 12th: students
President Rodrigo Duterte last week allowed the emergency use of vaccines and drugs against COVID-19, 10 months into the crisis that has seen nearly 440,000 people infected and the economy dragged into recession due to prolonged quarantine restrictions.