Gov’t eyes prioritizing key areas for COVID-19 vaccination as delivery delays loom | Inquirer News
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Gov’t eyes prioritizing key areas for COVID-19 vaccination as delivery delays loom

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 04:20 AM May 04, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The government is proposing to prioritize in its COVID-19 vaccination program certain key areas in the country with “economic and social importance” as well as those with high infection rate in anticipation of a delay in vaccine deliveries due to constricted global supply, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the country’s vaccine manager, said.

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Some countries, such as India, had started barring the export of COVID-19 vaccines, Galvez said during the pre-recorded weekly address of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“With what’s happening to India right now, it has a big effect in our supply [of vaccines] bought from India. There’s a probable delay,” he said, speaking partly in Filipino.

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“Considering that we’re going to have a shortfall in our supply, we’re recommending that we have prioritization,” Galvez added.

The following areas, which observed a high number of infections last year, should be prioritized in receiving vaccine doses, Galvez said:

Luzon

  • Metro Manila
  • Calabarzon
  • Central Luzon
  • Baguio City
  • Cordillera Administrative Region
  • Cagayan Valley

Visayas

  • Cebu City
  • Bacolod City
  • Iloilo City
  • Central Visayas
  • Western Visayas
  • Eastern Visayas

Mindanao

  • Davao City
  • Cagayan de Oro City
  • Zamboanga City
  • General Santos City
  • Iligan City
  • Davao Region
  • Zamboanga Peninsula
  • Northern Mindanao

By concentrating the vaccine supply in these areas, the government only needs to aim to inoculate about 58.6 million individuals, or 70% of 83 million people, to achieve herd immunity. This is in lieu of aiming to achieve herd immunity by inoculating 70% of the 110 million total population, Galvez explained.

“If we can get 70% – that is, herd immunity — in those areas, the chances are big that our economy will recover and the chances are big that we will prevent a surge in those areas that are very vulnerable,” he said.

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The government has so far deployed 3,745,120 out of 4,040,600 vaccine doses in several vaccination sites, Galvez said.

A total of 1,658539 Filipinos have been vaccinated, and a total of 1,948,080 doses have been used as some people have already received their second dose of the vaccines, he added.

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TAGS: Carlito Galvez Jr., COVID-19 vaccination priority areas, COVID-19 Vaccines
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