Gov't to prioritize inoculation of 1.5M unvaccinated senior citizens as it prepares for Omicron

Gov't to prioritize inoculation of 1.5M unvaccinated senior citizens as it prepares for Omicron
A health worker shows syringes filled with Pfizer vaccine as they administer the first dose to those belonging to A1 (medical frontliners), A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (persons with comorbidity) categories during their continuation of vaccination program for San Juaneños at FilOil Flying V Centre (San Juan Arena) on May 12, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will prioritize the inoculation of unvaccinated senior citizens as it prepares for a possible Omicron-fueled increase in COVID-19 cases, the country’s vaccination chief said Friday.

According to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., around 1.5 million senior citizens remain unvaccinated.

“‘Yun ang nakikita natin na mag-o-overwhelm sa ating health facilities,” Galvez said.

(We expect that the elderly will overwhelm our health facilities.)

Since March, over 5.56 million senior citizens have completed vaccination against COVID-19, while 4.92 million have received partial protection. More than 446,000 senior citizens have been given booster shots.

The government will also focus on administering boosters to medical workers, the elderly and those who are immunocompromised.

Galvez also said that health authorities will meet with leaders from Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Calabarzon to discuss their preparations for a possible increase in infections driven by the rapidly spreading Omicron variant of COVID-19.

He added the government will activate quarantine facilities and mobilize medical workers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

Galvez, who also heads the National Task Force against COVID-19, called for self-awareness and self-discipline as the country welcomes the new year.

The Philippines is seeing a renewed increase in infections, with the Department of Health on Thursday reporting 1,623 additional cases, the highest since November 21. — Gaea Katreena Cabico




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