Duterte only expanding COVID vaccine priority list to add soldiers' kin — Palace

 By Deighton Acuin and Archie Villaflores

PHOTO: Manila Bulletin

Malacañang said Monday there is no change in prioritization of coronavirus vaccine receivers as President Rodrigo Duterte only wanted to extend the list to families of uniformed personnel.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will operationalize Duterte’s pronouncements seeking jabs for uniformed personnel and their families without charges.

“Well I think hindi naman po nababago. Ang ineexpand lang niya ay kasama yung mga pamilya ng mga kasundaluhan and that’s out of recognition na on the part of the President, talagang importante po ang papel na ginagampanan ng ating mga men in uniform because theirs is maintenance of peace and order in our society,” Roque said in an online briefing.

“As to how this will be implemented, this will be up to the IATF,” he added.

In a speech before military troops in Jolo, Sulu, Duterte said he would ask Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. to prioritize the uniformed troops’ families in COVID-19 inoculation.

According to government’s order of priority, the following groups to be prioritized for vaccination are medical and frontline workers, senior citizens, indigent population, uniformed personnel, and other vulnerable individuals.

Moreover, Roque allayed concerns for the program, saying more vaccines are expected to be delivered by latter part of 2021.

“‘Wag naman po kayo mag-alala kasi ang ating initial list, 24 million ang ating babakunahan. If at all, siguro madadagdagan po ito ng mga two million if there are three members of family of the men in uniform. At sobra sobra naman po yung inaasahan na nating dadating na bakuna by second or third quarter of the year,” he said.

The government is set to procure 148 million vaccine doses, enough for 50 million Filipinos by this year.

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