Duterte: Gov't studying COVID-19 vaccination of general public by October


MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said the government could open COVID-19 inoculation to the general public by October as the country battles its worst surge in infections driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

“I’d like the people to know that we’re studying the possibility of vaccinating the general adult population as early as October if there is a stable vaccine supply,” Duterte said in a taped speech aired on Tuesday.

Only healthcare workers, senior citizens, people with comorbidities, economic frontliners and indigent individuals are being inoculated at the moment.

Duterte also said that the poor must be prioritized in the government’s vaccination program.

“In far-flung areas of the country outside Metro Manila, there are a lot of Filipinos waiting to be vaccinated… I would suggest that you prioritize the poor, those who cannot really afford to be traveling back and forth,” he said.

The Philippines has administered 39.1 million doses of COVID-19 jabs, with 17 million people so far completing vaccination.

Initially, the government was aiming to fully vaccinate 70% of the nation’s 109 million population, but the emergence of the hyper contagious Delta variant prompted officials to raise the country’s vaccination coverage to 90%.

The Philippines, which has the second highest number of infections and deaths in Southeast Asia, has been reporting over 20,000 cases for three days in a row. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 12, 2021 - 11:01am

A new thread on the Philippines' vaccination program in 2021 in the government's revised objective to reach "population protection." (Main image: The STAR/Michael Varcas, file)

November 12, 2021 - 11:01am

Starting December 1, the vaccination of employees required to work on-site will be mandatory in the public and private sector in areas with sufficient COVID-19 jabs supply.

"However, eligible employees who remain to be unvaccinated may not be terminated but they shall be required to undergo regular RT-PCR testing, or antigen tests, at their own expense," Malacañang says.

November 3, 2021 - 10:11am

The Philippine government is targeting to administer at least 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of November, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. says.

The government aims to achieve 1 million to 1.5 million jabs per day starting November 20.

To achieve this, Galvez says about 4,000 to 5,000 vaccination sites would be activated, including malls, universities, schools, gyms, camps and function halls of different government agencies.

October 27, 2021 - 10:56am

The Philippine government will start the full rollout of COVID-19 vaccination among minors aged 12 to 17 on November 5.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire says the guidelines are being drafted.

October 25, 2021 - 9:02am

The Health Technology Assessment Council of the Department of Health recommends the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for healthcare workers by fourth quarter of this year.

The council also recommends rolling out booster shots among eligible priority groups by next year.

HTAC says the recommendations are offered "in consideration of sufficient vaccine supply and acceptable coverage for primary vaccination."

October 8, 2021 - 10:00am

Another 2.1 million doses of Moderna and more than 661,100 doses of Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccines arrive at NAIA Terminal 1 on Friday morning.

The Moderna vaccines are procured by the government while the Astrazeneca jabs were bought by the private sector.

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