Palace spokesman Harry Roque

Malacañang on Monday said that the country was more than ready to start its Covid-19 vaccination drive even though a launch date had yet to be determined.

“Ilang tulog na lang mga kaibigan at darating na po ang unang batch ng ating bakuna,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.

Roque said the Covax facility, which will provide the country up to 40 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, had stated in a letter that the vaccines would arrive by mid-February.

Covax is a global initiative coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization. Its portfolio for Covid-19 vaccines includes those manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen and Novovax.

The following are the priority population groups for vaccination:

  • A1: Frontline workers in health facilities both national and local, private and public, health professionals and non-professionals like students, nursing aides, janitors, barangay health workers, etc.
  • A2: Senior citizens aged 60 years old and above
  • A3: Persons with comorbidities not otherwise included in the preceding categories
  • A4: Frontline personnel in essential sectors including uniformed personnel and those in working sectors identified by the IATF as essential during ECQ
  • A5: Indigent population not otherwise included in the preceding categories
  • B1: Teachers, Social Workers
  • B2: Other Government Workers
  • B3: Other essential workers
  • B4: Socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk other than senior citizens and indigenous people
  • B5: Overseas Filipino Workers
  • B6: Other Remaining Workforce
  • C: Rest of the Filipino population not otherwise included in the above groups

The Philippine government has P73.2 billion allocated for vaccine procurement in its 2021 national budget.

At least 50,000 Filipinos are expected to be vaccinated by February this year. John Ezekiel J. Hirro