Gov’t names 7 comorbidities for prioritization in COVID-19 vaccination drive
MANILA, Philippines — The government has identified seven comorbidities that will be included in the priority list for the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
Dr. John Wong, an epidemiologist and member of the technical working group on data analytics of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said these comorbidities are chronic respiratory disease, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, malignancy, diabetes mellitus, and obesity.
He explained that these seven pre-existing conditions or comorbidities increase a person’s risk for hospitalization or death due to COVID-19 infection.
“These are the seven diseases that were prioritized to be belonging to A3,” Wong said in an online press briefing.
In the government’s priority list for vaccination, A3 are persons with comorbidities who are not frontline workers or senior citizens.
According to Wong, chronic liver disease was also studied by experts but the results are not significant due to the insufficient number of patients in the sample size.
Wong also said that an estimated 14.5 million non-elderly adult Filipinos have underlying conditions that increase their risk for “unfavorable COVID-19 outcomes.”
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Department of Health will release later in the day its protocols for vaccinating those with comorbidities.
“We are finalizing our protocol para maipalabas natin ngayong araw na ito. ‘Yung listahan na ‘yan ni Dr. Wong isasama natin ‘yan sa ating protocol,” she said.
(We are finalizing our protocol so we can release it today. Those in the list of Dr. Wong will be included in our protocol.)
Meanwhile, those with depression, although it is considered as comorbidity, will not be prioritized for now in the government’s COVID-19 vaccination drive considering the limited number of available doses.
“Sa ngayon na hindi pa husto ang ating bakuna para sa lahat, ating ipapatupad itong sub-prioritization kung saan itong mga sakit na ipinakita ni Dr. Wong na may mga basehan tayo base sa mga pag-aaral dito sa outcomes ng COVID-19, sila muna ang uunahin natin,” Vegeire said.
(Right now because the vaccine doses are not enough, we are implementing this sub-prioritization wherein we will vaccinate first those included in the list of Dr. Wong.)
She added that those with comorbidities not included in the list will also be vaccinated albeit later on or once the country secures a sufficient supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses.
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