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

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

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.

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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: June 11, 2021 – 12:13pm

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)

June 11, 2021 – 12:13pm

Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo says that as far as he knows all of the sitting justices of the Supreme Court have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

He says the court asked for justices to be classified as A4. Some of the justices are also already senior citizens.

June 10, 2021 – 8:58pm

More than 2 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines from the Covax facility arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Thursday night.

More than 200,000 doses will be distributed to Cebu and Davao while the remaining doses are for Metro Manila.

LOOK: Lumapag na sa NAIA Terminal 3 ang eroplanong may karga ng mahigit 2 milyong doses ng Pfizer vaccines na donasyon ng Covax Facility |

— Justinne Punsalang ???? (@thisjustinne) June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021 – 7:48am

Another 1 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine have arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Vaccination of economic frontliners, or workers in the A4 category, kicked off this month.

June 7, 2021 – 10:21am

The government marks the rollout of vaccines for the A4, or economic frontliners, category with a ceremony at a mall in Pasay City.

Around 35 million Filipinos are in the priority group, which has been expanded to include all who are required to physically report to work.

Pandemic restrictions have seen some Filipinos shift to remote work or work-from-home arrangements but many employees, especially those in the service sector, do not have that option.

May 19, 2021 – 2:21pm

Vice President Leni Robredo has been vaccinated against COVID-19 at a vaccination center in Quezon City.

Robredo, who received her first dose of the AstraZeneca jab, is in the A3 ( people with comorbidities) category.

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