Palace: No change in vaccine prioritization, Duterte only expanding list to include soldiers’ families
MANILA, Philippines — There is no change in vaccine recipients prioritization as President Rodrigo Duterte only wanted to expand the priority list to include families of soldiers, Malacañang said Monday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will operationalize Duterte’s remarks seeking free Covid-19 jabs for uniformed personnel’s families.
“Well I think hindi naman po nababago. Ang ineexpand lang niya ay kasama yung mga pamilya ng mga kasundaluhan and that’s out of recognition na on the part of the President, talagang importante po ang papel na ginagampanan ng ating mga men in uniform because theirs is maintenance of peace and order in our society,” Roque said in an online briefing.
(There is no change in prioritization. He is only expanding the list to include families of soldiers and that’s out of recognition on the part of the President that men in uniform’s job is important because theirs is maintenance of peace and order in our society.)
“As to how this will be implemented, this will be up to the IATF,” he added.
In a speech to troops at the Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Headquarters in Jolo over the weekend, Duterte said he would ask vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. to also prioritize families of uniformed personnel in the vaccination against Covid-19.
The government’s order of priority in its vaccination plan are frontline health workers, senior citizens, indigent population, uniformed personnel, and other vulnerable population groups.
Roque allayed concerns over the prioritization, saying more vaccines are expected to arrive in the country by the latter part of 2021.
“‘Wag naman po kayo mag-alala kasi ang ating initial list, 24 million ang ating babakunahan. If at all, siguro madadagdagan po ito ng mga two million if there are three members of family of the men in uniform. At sobra sobra naman po yung inaasahan na nating dadating na bakuna by second or third quarter of the year,” he said.
(Don’t worry because in our initial list, there are 24 million people to be vaccinated. If at all, two million will be added if there are three members of the family of the men in uniform. We are expecting more vaccines to come by the second or third quarter of the year.)
The government seeks to procure 148 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, enough to vaccinate at least 50 million Filipinos this year.
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