Game regulator wants frontliners prioritized over athletes for COVID-19 vaccination

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 12 2021 02:40 PM

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The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) on Wednesday urged government to continue prioritizing frontliners over athletes in the COVID-19 vaccination drive. 

“We understand the national situation, how big the problem of the President is,” said GAB Chairman Abraham Mitra. 

“I think that the frontliners should be given priority over the athletes,” he said in a press briefing. 

The coronavirus inoculation program currently covers four priority groups, namely, health frontliners, the elderly, people with health risks, and essential workers. The last group excludes athletes. 

At least 2 senators–Francis Tolentino and Christopher Go–appealed for the inclusion of athletes in the vaccine priority list. Tolentino noted the Tokyo Olympics is just a little over 2 months away, while athletes bound for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi this November have yet to train collectively.

The Philippines has so far secured 7.754 million COVID-19 shots. The country has about 1.7 million workers who are on top of the priority, and some 9 million senior citizens, the second priority group. 

Among the hardest hit by the pandemic in Asia, the Philippines aims to vaccinate up to 70 million people or around two-thirds of its 108 million population.