By Addison Pascua


After receiving greenlight from President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine government is set to start the COVID-19 vaccination drive for the general public, including teenagers in October, Malacañang announced on Tuesday.

According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Duterte gave the approval following a recommendation from vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. as the country continues to receive enough supply of coronavirus vaccines to inoculate more individuals.

“Ang good news po inaprubahan na po ni Presidente ang pagpapabakuna sa general population simula po ng buwan ng Oktubre,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed during a press briefing.
Along with this, Roque also urged parents to have their children aged 12-17 registered for COVID-19 vaccination.

“At magsisimula na rin po ang ating pagbabakuna ng ating mga kabataan pero ang ating hinihikayat ngayon ay magpa-masterlisting na po ang mga magulang ng mga kabataan. Inaasahan rin po natin magsisimula tayo sa buwan ng Oktubre, aprubado na rin po yan ng ating Presidente,” Roque said.

Roque, however, clarified that individuals who fall under the priority sectors for COVID-19 vaccination in the country will still be prioritized despite the new development.

“Yung mga A1, A2, A3 hindi naman po mawawala ang kanilang priority. Magkakaroon po sana tayo ng express lane para sa kanila,” Roque assured.
To recall, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Philippines has recently approved the emergency use authorization (EUA) of Pfizer and Moderna jabs for teenagers which prompted several local government units to open the pre-registration for COVID-19 vaccination under this age bracket.
Since the country began its vaccination campaign in March early this year, the government has so far only prioritized the COVID-19 inoculation of priority sectors such as healthcare workers, senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, frontline personnel in essential sectors and uniformed personnel, and indigent residents.

As of this posting, the government has administered some 44.36 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in the country. Of this number, at least 23.77 million have received their first dose of coronavirus vaccine while 20.58 million are now fully inoculated against the disease.

Vaccine czar Galvez said the government is targeting to administer at least 55 million doses, or 500,000 to 800,000 daily starting next month, as the Philippines is set to receive five to seven million more doses of Coronavirus vaccines this week.