Residents of Metro Manila and other key areas might be prioritized for vaccination for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) to help the Philippine economy recover.
National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government is considering that measure as it still does not have enough Covid-19 vaccines. He added that the government’s vaccination will have to be revised to achieve a “more realistic target.”
“Considering that we would have a falloff or shortfall in our supplies, we are recommending that we have prioritization, meaning, we will look at the areas that have economic and social importance,” Galvez said during President Rodrigo Duterte’s weekly television address.
Besides Metro Manila or the National Capital Region, Galvez recommended concentrating the government’s vaccination drive in areas most affected by Covid-19, including Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Baguio City, Cordillera Administrative Region and Cagayan Valley in Luzon; Cebu City, Bacolod City, Iloilo City, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, and areas in the Visayas with a high number of active cases; Davao City, Cagayan de Oro City, Zamboanga City, General Santos City, Iligan City, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao and Davao Region in Mindanao.
Galvez estimates the population in those areas is around 83 million.
“If we get 70 percent or herd immunity in these areas, there is a big chance for our economy to recover, and there is also a big chance that we will prevent surges in these traditional areas that are very vulnerable,” he said.
His recommendation is still subject to Duterte’s approval. SOVEREIGNPH