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Duterte Says Prioritize the Poor for COVID Vaccines

There are plans to vaccinate indigent populations in late May.
by Clara Rosales
Just now
Photo/s: Presidential Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte said in a taped address aired Tuesday that the poor must be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines as the government moved to reconfigure its priority list.

“Unahin ninyo yung mahihirap,” Duterte said after vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez recommended expanding the vaccination pool to economic frontliners and indigent populations. Currently, the country's inoculation program covers medical frontliners, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities.

“Dapat buksan na po natin yung A4 tsaka yung A5. Na kailangan yung bakuna, unahin natin yung mahihirap,” Galvez said.

The A4 category includes government officials, officers, and economic frontliners in essential industries such as transportation, logistics, and education. The A5 category is classified as the poor sector.

On Monday, government officials were reclassified into category A1.5.

According to the proposal, vaccination for A4 and A5 individuals should begin in late May. Procured vaccines will be administered to those belonging to A4, and jabs donated by vaccine-sharing facility COVAX will be used for A5.

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“If there is difficulty getting out of their respective communities, kayo na ang papasok doon, and do the vaccination there,” the president said.

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“There will be no discrimination, at hindi kayo makapili kung ano ang bakuna. Pareho lahat yan,” he added, reiterating that all vaccines were potent and effective regardless of brand.

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