Government sets ‘massive’ inoculation drive on general population

In file photo, Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Marjorie Jalosjos and Las Piñas Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery visit one of the city’s 18 vaccination sites.

The government will finally start vaccinating the general population, including the youth, against the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) starting next month.

This after President Duterte approved last Monday the proposal of the National Taskforce Against Covid-19 (NTF) to start the vaccination of the said sector as the government secures 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses by October.

In an online news briefing on Tuesday, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said concerned government offices would be issuing the guidelines for the implementation of the new policy.

He also assured that those from priority sectors such as health-care workers, senior citizens, and those with comorbidities will still be prioritized in the government’s vaccination drive even after its coverage is expanded to include the general population.

In preparation for the expanded inoculation drive, Roque urged parents to register their children so they could get their Covid-19 jabs.

NTF chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said they are targeting to vaccinate 12 million children, aged 12 to 17 years old, and prioritize the children of health-care workers and those with comorbidities.

Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only approved the Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna to be used for minors.

Duterte announced the new policy as the government was only able to fully vaccinate 20.5 million of its target 50 million to 70 million people before the end of the year.

Galvez said aside from vaccine hesitation from some people, the inoculation drive is also hampered by the shortage of vaccine supplies in previous months.

He said this would no longer be an issue by October when the country’s vaccine supplies are expected to reach 100-million mark.


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