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Task Force Names Priority Areas for COVID-19 Vaccination

Members of 'high risk' sectors will be prioritized for each of these areas.

Now that COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out across the world, the Philippine government has started to lay out its finals plans for vaccination.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has been meeting with concerned sectors, departments, and individuals to discuss the vaccines to be procured, their budget, and priority sectors. And just recently, Philippine vaccine czar and COVID-19 National Task Force Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr. has announced that the task force has already determined who will be prioritized for the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

‘High Burden’ Areas

According to Galvez, they already have an initial list of the priority sectors and areas for the deployment of the vaccine this year. “We will concentrate on focus areas that emerge as ‘epicenters’ of the pandemic and then we will focus on the sectors or priority groups,” he said. (Read: How Effective is China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 Vaccine?)

Health officials and concerned offices have agreed upon these areas based on data from the past three months and fatality rates.

covid-19-vaccine-priority
Photo from AFP / The Straits Times

The cities and provinces listed below are some of the areas that were deemed as ‘high burden” by the task force. For each of these locations, members of ‘high risk’ sectors will be prioritized— these will be the frontliners and healthcare workers, contact tracers, barangay health workers, and emergency response teams.

  • Metro Manila
  • CALABARZON
  • Central Luzon
  • Davao City
  • Cebu City
  • Cagayan de Oro
  • Baguio City
  • Bacolod
  • Iloilo
  • Zamboanga City
  • Tacloban City
  • General Santos City

COVID-19 Vaccination

covid-19-vaccine-priority
Dr Yves Duroseau is the first doctor to receive the Covid-19 vaccine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center on 14 December 2020. (Photo from Scott Heins / Getty Images / The Guardian)

Local government units have also started their own vaccination initiatives. Cities like Caloocan, Manila, Cebu, Davao, and Makati, as well as provinces like Cavite, Palawan, and Iloilo, have already allocated budgets for their cities’ vaccination programs. (Read: Metro Manila Mayors Roll Out Plans to Vaccinate Residents for Free)

Many of these areas will be providing free vaccination for a part of their population, including indigent constituents. You may check this link to see the updated list of provinces and cities that are starting to procure vaccines.

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