Only Bacolod City and Iloilo in Western Visayas are included in the shortlisted focused areas in the country that will be given priority once the vaccine for coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, is available.
Dr. Jane Juanico, head of Department of Health (DOH) 6’s Infectious Disease Section, however noted that they are still clarifying if it is Iloilo province or Iloilo City alone.
“For Western Visayas, sa focused areas nga nakit-an sa aton national, only Bacolod and Iloilo ang na-shortlist nga mga focused areas,” said Juanico.
As to the priority groups or sectors, Juanico said the first priority to be vaccinated are frontline health workers working in the hospitals and temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMF) who are directly interacting with the COVID-19 patients.
Second in line are those in public health like in rural health units (RHUs) and center for health development offices, barangay health workers and Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs), and last of the frontliners are those of other national government agencies such as Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) as well as personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) as they are also vulnerable population.
“The next priority are indigent senior citizens, may mga shortlisting naman ni and projected based sa mga OSCA (Office of Senior Citizens Affairs) nga mga data. Third, ang remaining senior citizens and indigent population,” Juanico added.
Meanwhile, the last priority are uniformed personnel such as Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection, and CAFGU.
Juanico said these priority sectors comprised 22 percent of the total population of the Philippines.
“The next step is to increase that to 40 to 50 percent to include other priority age group. These are just ginatulok pa lang nga mga strategies sang aton government in terms sa vaccination process,” said Juanico./WDJ