Sec. Francisco Duque III says COVID-19 vaccination to start in March

Sec. Francisco Duque III says COVID-19 vaccination to start in March

- Sec. Francisco Duque III revealed that the administration of COVID-19 vaccination in the country may start in March

- He said that the government will work until the second quarter to reach 60 to 70% of the population

- The secretary assured that different sectors of the government are cooperating to come up with a systematic plan of vaccine administration.

- There is also a formula for the prioritization that will be implemented at all community levels

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Sec. Francisco Duque III stated that the COVID-19 vaccination in the Philippines may begin in the month of March.

Sec. Francisco Duque III says COVID-19 vaccination in PH expected to start in March
Sec. Francisco Duque III (Photo credit: @Anadolu Agency)
Source: Getty Images

In an interview with TeleRadyo on Friday, January 1, the Department of Health (DOH) secretary announced the possibility of the start of the vaccination in the country by the end of the quarter. He cited Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., the vaccine czar, in revealing the information.

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"Mga March hanggang mga second quarter 'yan tapos tuloy-tuloy na daw 'yan hanggang sa marating natin 'yung 60 to 70 percent ng population kasi ang goal natin ay herd immunity."

Following the failure of the United States to hit the target number of population to be vaccinated lately, Duque was asked if the Philippines has already come up with a strategy that can avoid the same problem.

The secretary assured that different sectors of the government are working together to ensure a systematic plan.

“.. ‘yan ang tinututukan ng atin pong vaccine czar kasama ng DOH, ano po, at ang PNP, AFP, para talaga ‘pag ni-roll out natin ay naaayon doon sa ating detalyadong plano.”

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Moreover, he revealed that the government has come up with a formula for the prioritization of who will get the vaccine first. They will be divided into five categories: healthcare workers, senior citizens, individuals exposed to the sick, indigent families, and uniformed personnel, such as the PNP and AFP.

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He also guaranteed that there will be a systematic implementation of the prioritization.

“Ika-cascade po natin ‘yang formula na ‘yan sa lahat po ng regions, provinces, cities, municipalities, hanggang sa barangay level.”

Sec. Duque did not mention which COVID-19 vaccine will be used by the government. However, there are already several options that the government is choosing from.

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Sec. Francisco Duque III is the current Secretary of Health in President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet. Before he took over the position in 2017, he previously held it during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Recently, Sec. Duque was castigated by Sen. Risa Hontiveros for his delayed response to COVID-19 situations. The senator also slammed Spokesperson Harry Roque for trying to defend the administration of smuggled vaccines to the PSG.

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