MALACAÑANG has finally released the list of specific priority groups for vaccination against the highly-infectious virus from Wuhan, China.
In a press briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the list was adopted by the Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (iNITAG) based on a multi-sectoral study headed by the medical community.
The priority sectors released by the Palace were listed in accordance with a sequence of government priorities from top to bottom. For the first tranche, priorities would include:
· Frontline workers in health facilities both national and local, private and public, health professionals and non-professionals like students, nursing aides, janitors, barangay health workers, etc.
· Senior citizens aged 60 years old and above
· Persons with co-morbidities not otherwise included in the preceding categories
· Frontline personnel in essential sectors including uniformed personnel and those in working sectors identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases as essential during an enhanced community quarantine
· Indigent population not otherwise included in the preceding categories
Next in line would be the following:
· Teachers, social workers
· Other government workers
· Other essential workers
· Socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk other than senior citizens and indigenous people
· Overseas Filipino Workers
· Other remaining workforce
The last to be inoculated will be the rest of the Filipino population not otherwise included in the above groups – including students and children.
Roque said the iNITAG also underscored that any specific inclusion and exclusion criteria of each vaccine, as reflected in the respective Emergency Use Authorization of the Food and Drug Administration, or recommendations from the Health Technology Assessment Council, should be considered.
The selection of areas for sub-prioritization will be based on the factors which include:
· Burden of disease due to COVID-19 (current active cases, attack rate per 100,000 population in the past four weeks, and population density)
· Vaccination site and/or local government unit readiness, particularly, its supply chain capability
The Department of Health earlier said the priority groups included the frontline health workers, indigent senior citizens, remaining senior citizens, remaining indigent population, and uniformed personnel.
Target date for the government to begin its mass inoculation program is this month.