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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Govt identifies who would get vaccinated first

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TO be able to reduce Covid-19 morbidity and mortality, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) said that vulnerable groups like senior citizens and those with comorbidities are the next priority for vaccination, following the adaptation of the prioritization framework and criteria of the Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) in allocating first tranches of vaccines against Covid-19 that will arrive in the country.

“Of course, our goal with the vaccination is to vaccinate every Filipino as directed by the President,” Health Undersecretary Francisco T. Duque III said. “However, we recognize that we are working under the context of limited global supply of the Covid-19 vaccine, which is why the IATF has resolved to adopt this prioritization framework to ensure that those who have the highest risk of exposure and death will be protected from the disease.”

With aims of reducing Covid-19 morbidity and mortality, preserving health-system capacity, protecting the populations most at-risk to the disease, slowing down Covid-19 transmission rate and minimizing social and economic disruptions, the resolution prioritizes frontline workers in the national and local health facilities.

The framework further lists vulnerable groups—like senior citizens and those with comorbidities—as the next priority for vaccination. It also provides for sub-prioritization based on risk exposure or mortality risk and the process flow that citizens will undergo in the vaccination program.

The IATF resolution also provides that exclusion criteria for each vaccine (i.e. possible contraindications such as severe allergic reactions) shall be considered in the vaccination of the priority populations.

“We are not excluding senior citizens and those with comorbidities, including the immunodeficient. In fact, they are included among the priority groups to be vaccinated,” Duque added. “However, due to their risk, they must first be clinically assessed before getting vaccinated.”

With the forthcoming vaccines from Covax, the DOH chief said that they have to be strategic in distributing the limited supply of vaccines to ensure that we will maximize our resources and minimize potential losses.

“[We are already organizing this], with the vaccine cluster, [so that our actions, from national to local implementing units when it comes to vaccination, would be harmonized],” Duque said in a mix of English and Filipino.

He also encouraged the priority groups to get the earliest available vaccines.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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