PH to open COVID-19 vaccination for general population in October
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will open the COVID-19 vaccination to the general population in October after it was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said Tuesday.
“Inaprubahan na po ni Presidente ang pagbabakuna sa general population simula po ng buwan ng Oktubre,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing.
(The President has approved vaccinating the general population starting October.)
Roque said the President also approved the vaccination of minors which can also be expected to start in October.
“At magsisimula na rin po ang ating pagbabakuna ng ating mga kabataan pero ang ating hinihikayat ngayon ay magpa-masterlisting na po ang mga magulang ng mga kabataan. Inaasahan rin po natin magsisimula tayo sa buwan ng Oktubre, aprubado na rin po yan ng ating Presidente,” Roque said.
(The vaccination of children will also start soon, so we’re encouraging parents to have their children signed up in the government’s master lists. We expect that we will also start this October; it has also been approved by the President.)
In a text message to INQUIRER.net, Roque confirmed that the vaccination for children would cover those aged 12 to 17.
The Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration has approved for emergency use the use of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines on this age group.
The government has so far only prioritized the COVID-19 vaccination of health workers (A1), senior citizens (A2), persons with comorbidities (A3), economic fronliners (A4) and indigent citizens (A5).
Roque assured that persons that fall under these categories will remain prioritized despite the COVID-19 vaccination being opened to the general public.
“Yung mga A1, A2, A3 hindi naman po mawawala ang kanilang priority. Magkakaroon po sana tayo ng express lane para sa kanila,” he said.
(Those under A1, A2, A3 won’t lose their priority. There will be an express lane for them.)
Roque said the opening of vaccination for the general public is due to the country receiving an ample supply to inoculate more people.
To date, the Philippines has received more than 69 million COVID-19 vaccine doses which were either government-procured, bought by private sector and local government units, or donated by the COVAX facility and other nations.
Of this number, 43.8 million doses have been administered with over 20 million already completing their COVID-19 vaccination.
By October, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the country’s vaccine supply is expected to reach over 100 million doses.
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