COMPARED to how the government rolled out the donated China-made COVID-19 vaccines, a top Palace official admitted that there is no rollout date yet for the 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 doses expected to be delivered to the Philippines on Thursday night.
In a press briefing, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that they are still waiting for the recommendation of the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG), which would determine which priority sector should take the AstraZeneca vaccines first.
“We are waiting for the advice of the NITAG kung saan gagamitin ang AstraZeneca vaccine, kung puwede sa senior citizens na health workers,” Nograles said.
“We are consulting with NITAG because Sinovac is only recommended for 18 to 59 years old and there are doctors, nurses who are aged 60 and above,” added Nograles, in reference to the 600,000 doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccines donated by the Chinese government to the Philippines which arrived on February 28.
To date, Sinovac jabs has remained the only available vaccine in the country and as such is the only brand being used by the government in its vaccination program that started last March 1.
“NITAG is having a meeting about this and we expect to get their recommendation very soon kasi mamayang gabi na rin ang dating ng AstraZeneca and we would like to immediately roll out the AstraZeneca vaccine,” Nograles said.
Under NITAG recommendation, health workers and employees in health care facilities are the first in line to get a COVID-19 vaccine, followed by indigent senior citizens.