SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco is urging the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to prioritize the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus and other urban centers with high concentration of coronavirus cases in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, but only after all medical frontliners in the country are fully inoculated against the deadly disease.
“As we await large supplies of vaccines to come in, we urge the IATF to prioritize NCR Plus and other urban centers in our vaccine rollout so we can quell the surge in new infections in those areas,” Velasco pointed out.
“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, 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.
NCR Plus is composed of the cities and municipality in Metro Manila, and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal. It has been experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, which is largely attributed to fast-spreading coronavirus variants.
Echoing health experts, Velasco said the best defense against the “superspreader variants” would be to inundate these areas with vaccines.
The Philippines is expected to be supplied an estimated 10 million doses by June this year, ramping up to 15 to 20 million doses delivered by August.
It is currently struggling with measly supplies as developed nations have stockpiled most of the world’s reserve of vaccines against COVID-19.
The country now tallied over a million verified cases of COVID-19. The Department of Health has been reporting daily average of 8,000 new cases since March.
According to Velasco, 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.#