The task force focused on the country’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response plans to allocate the portion of the supply reserved for Metro Manila to provinces, cities, and towns with a surge of COVID-19.
“The cases, the transmission, is slowing down, and therefore it would give us more comfort to redeploy the vaccines – some of which have been allocated for NCR (National Capital Region),” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
It will be recalled that Metro Manila is said to be a “low risk” area.
Vaccines will be allocated to the “Plus 10” regions of Cagayan De Oro, Bacolod, Baguio, Zamboanga, Dumaguete, Tuguegarao, General Santos, Naga, Legazpi, Iloilo City – which are also centers of economic activity.
“Ang naging basehan ay ang tumataas nilang mga kaso or surge in cases, ang kanilang pagiging highly urbanized at dense environment at kanilang kontribusyon sa regional or national economy,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
The supply of vaccines will also increase in Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, Caraga Region, and Bangsamoro region due to the rising COVID-19 infectious.
OCTA Research Fellow and molecular biologist Dr. Nicanor Austraico agree on this strategy.
10 ‘high-risk’ regions to receive part of NCR’s vaccine supply – IATF
“To build a wall around the entire country because it will allow even our non-vaccinated kababayans to live safely because they are protected by those who live in the cities who are themselves vaccinated,” said Austriaco.
For Austriaco, herd immunity should first be targeted in cities where 55 million people live.
According to the DOH, more than 9.2 million doses of COVID-19 have been injected into the A1 to A5 categories.
These include 1.6 million frontline healthcare workers and 2 million seniors who received the first twelve; 2 million with comorbidities, over 640,000 economic workers, and over 110,000 from the indigent sector.
Meanwhile, two million more Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to the Philippines on Thursday morning.
The shipment includes the 400,000 doses purchased by the Manila local government, while the rest were brought by the national government.
The Sinovac vaccines arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 at 7:26 a.m. via a chartered Cebu Pacific flight.