DOH: COVID-19 vaccination of indigent sector allowed if there's sufficient supply
Individuals wait in line as early as 5 a.m. for the start of the vaccine roll out program of the local government for people under the A4 priority group at the SM City Manila on June 8, 2021.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman

DOH: COVID-19 vaccination of indigent sector allowed if there's sufficient supply

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - June 14, 2021 - 6:09pm

MANILA, Philippines — Local government units can start administering donated COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility to indigent Filipinos if they have enough supply, the Department of Health said Monday.

“This is allowed, but it will depend on the supplies. If local governments see they are capable of doing it based on their allocations, they can do it. The guidelines are there, the pronouncement is there. They won’t be violating anything,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a mix of English and Filipino during a briefing.

But LGUs need to manage the allocation of their vaccine supplies “so we don’t end up having inadequate supplies for other sectors of the population,” Vergeire added.

Indigent Filipinos belong to the fifth priority group for vaccination, who are next in line after healthcare workers, senior citizens, persons with comorbidities and economic frontliners.

According to the guidelines of the DOH, local governments should coordinate with the Department of Social Welfare and Development for the list of indigent Filipinos based on the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction.

LGUs can also identify other indigent residents though other verification mechanisms.

Priority may be given to poor people aged 40 to 59, followed by those aged 18 to 39, in situations where the vaccine supply is limited.

The COVAX vaccine-sharing facility has shipped over 5 million doses of AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines. COVAX seeks to boost COVID-19 inoculation programs in lower-income countries.

Last month, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the distribution of Pfizer jabs to the indigent population.

Since the government began its vaccination drive on March 1, only 1.55% of the country’s roughly 110 million population have completed vaccination against COVID-19, while 4.26% have received the first of two doses of the vaccine.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: July 22, 2021 - 8:18am

The national government has so far secured two official deals for COVID-19 vaccine supplies in the Philippines, one with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac and another with the Serum Institute of India.

Watch this space for bite-sized developments on the vaccines in the Philippines. (Main image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

July 22, 2021 - 8:18am

Another 1.5 million doses of Sinovac vaccine arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Thursday. 

According to government data, around 5.03 million of the Philippines' total 109 million population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 almost five months into the government's inoculation campaign. 

July 15, 2021 - 5:16pm

Presidential adviser Joey Concepcion and several government officials welcome the arrival of the first tranche of AstraZeneca vaccines procured by the private sector.

“We are welcoming a total of 1.15M doses of AstraZeneca vaccines today ordered by the private sector and another 1.15 million doses in August and the rest are expected to be delivered in the coming months. A total of 2.75 million employees from close to 500 companies are expected to benefit from this—not to mention those who will benefit from the LGU procured doses,” Concepcion says.

“We want to help the government so that we can execute the vaccine rollout in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Allowing us to execute, we could focus on the vaccination of our employees, the LGUs could focus on its constituents, and the national government could focus on the rest that are not covered. We need a fast and almost perfect rollout and the private sector, with the arrival of these initial doses from AstraZeneca, can now do that for its employees," he adds.

June 28, 2021 - 12:05pm

The Philippine vaccination program has officially administered 10,065,414 doses COVID-19 vaccine, the Palace says.

A ceremonial 10 millionth dose was administered Monday morning in Valenzuela City.

June 25, 2021 - 2:13pm

President Rodrigo Duterte has received the second dose of the Sinopharm vaccine against COVID-19, the Presidential Security Group says.

Members of the PSG were among the first in the Philippines to receive the Sinopharm jabs, which they administered on themselves late last year despite the Food and Drug Authority not including it among COVID-19 vaccines allowed for use in the country.

The FDA later issued a compassionate use permit for it. 

June 24, 2021 - 7:48am

A shipment of 2 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine arrives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila on Thursday morning.


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