Velasco on vaccine rollout: Ensure vaccination of all medical frontliners, focus on hotspots

Oxford/AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Antwerp

 (REUTERS/File Photo)

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco urged the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on Monday to prioritize urban centers with high concentration of COVID-19 cases in the vaccine rollout, but only after all medical frontliners in the country are fully inoculated against the dreaded disease.

“As we await large supplies of vaccines to come in, we urge the IATF to prioritize NCR (National Capital Region) Plus and other urban centers in our vaccine rollout so we can quell the surge in new infections in those areas,” Velasco said in a statement.


“But first and foremost, let us vaccinate all 1.7 million health care workers all over the country to make sure they are protected against COVID-19,” he added.

Aside from the NCR Plus—which is composed of Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan—Velasco said the national government should also give priority vaccine allocation to Mega Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and other regional centers across the country.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco (INQUIRER file photo / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA)

Citing experts, Velasco said it would be prudent at this point to concentrate inoculation efforts toward areas where the health systems are vulnerable.

“Our efforts should be strategic as we wait for the time until our vaccine supplies become stable,” Velasco said.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said the Philippines is expected to receive at least 13 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines of various brands in this second quarter of 2021. 


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