Poor Filipinos, the members of the police and the military should also be prioritized in the ongoing government mass immunization drive against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), President Rodrigo Duterte said.
In a public address aired on Tuesday, the President reminded National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. that police officers, as well as soldiers, should be put on the priority list, adding vaccines should be immediately administered to people to avoid wastage.
“As many as we can, if possible we vaccinate day and night so we will not have a stock of spoiled medication. And as I have said, let us also prioritize the police and military because we rely on them,” Duterte said in Filipino.
The President underscored the importance of the role of the members of the police and the military in keeping peace and order, and protecting the country.
People in poor communities should also be prioritized because of their vulnerabilities of contracting the virus, given the cramped condition in informal settler areas, the President said.
“The informal settles live in areas where the houses are close to each other, so the transmission is really as fast as the virus can travel,” the President said partly in Filipino.
He argued that wealthy families living in “well-off” subdivisions are less exposed to Covid-19 because they have more living space and can easily isolate. He made an assurance, however, that they will be vaccinated in due time.
The reason why indigent families must be on the top list, President Duterte said, is because of the emergence of more infectious Covid-19 strains, which were already detected in the country.
The India variant, believed to be another contagious strain, appeared in genome sequencing done by experts tracking dominant Covid-19 variants.The government reported that the new variant was detected from Filipino workers returning to the Philippines. SOVEREIGNPH