Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Thursday that areas with over 3,000 active cases of COVID-19 would be given priority in the government’s immunization effort that is expected to start next year.
In an interview on Dobol B sa News TV, Galvez was asked regarding Iloilo City residents’ appeal to be included in the priority list for COVID-19 vaccines.
“Lahat po ng mga tumaas nang mahigit 4,000 o 3,000 ang kanilang active cases, uunahin po natin ‘yan. Kasama po ang Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu, at Tacloban City,” he said.
Galvez added that cities are priorities as they are usually economic centers and have many COVID-19 cases.
He also said essential workers in the business sectors and government officials would also be given priority.
Over 35 million Filipinos will be prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Galvez said the COVID-19 vaccine priority list was endorsed by the Department of Health (DOH) and was crafted with the guidance of President Rodrigo Duterte.
As a strategy, the vaccine czar said the immunization would start in areas most affected and those considered business centers.
Areas with over 3,000 active cases to receive vaccines first – Galvez
Galvez said the areas include the National Capital Region, Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Cebu, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro.
Then, the COVID-19 vaccination will proceed to accommodate the priority sectors.
“Ang pinakauna nga is healthcare workers at saka yung mga frontliners. Kasama po sa mga frontliner na ito ay mga police at sundalo, at saka ‘yung ating mga serviceman,” Galvez said.
“Kasama rin po dito ang mga, essential workers, ng DSWD, DepEd, at government agencies, at ‘yung sinasabi nating vulnerable, poor communities,” he added.
According to the vaccine czar, the Philippine government plans to give COVID-19 vaccines to 20 up to 30 million Filipinos annually within five years.
The government aims to vaccinate 60 million to 70 million Pinoys in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the best-case scenario, he said the mass vaccination would be launched either by the second quarter of 2021 or by the middle of 2021.
Meanwhile, for the worst-case scenario, Galvez added that the mass vaccination would start by the end of 2021 or early 2022.