As local authorities begin vaccinating seniors and people with comorbidities, the Department of Health (DoH) released an initial list of diseases that qualify those who are given vaccination priority.
These include chronic respiratory disease, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
However, the Interagency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease Management (IATF-EID) must approve the list before it can be adopted.
People with comorbidities should bring a medical certificate, summary, or prescription issued within the last six months to the vaccination center.
State Secretary for Health Maria Rosario Vergeire. Screengrab from the DOH Beat COVID-19 press conference
Health Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said with the rising number of virus cases in the country, it is imperative for the IATF-EID to give seniors and people with comorbidities the opportunity to be vaccinated alongside frontline health workers.
According to a member of the IATF-EID’s Technical Working Group (TWG), vaccinating seniors and those with controlled comorbidities at the same time will prevent them from developing severe coronavirus.
The IATF-EID TWG advisor, Dr. John Wong, citing data from last year, said that while older people are 15 percent less infected, they are five to ten times more likely to suffer from serious illnesses and die.
“It is very important to vaccinate them as soon as possible to prevent them [from being hospitalized]”Said Wong.
He added that vaccinating people with controlled comorbidities will ease the pressure on the health system.
Vergeire said the sub-prioritization of patients with the seven pre-existing conditions identified was due to the lack of vaccines.
“We understand that many diseases are covered by comorbidities, but what we do now (we understand that there are many pre-existing conditions that can be considered comorbidities, but what we are doing right now) is science and evidence. based on a rational allocation of these vaccines, ”she continued.
Seniors receive the AstraZeneca AZD1222 vaccine, while comorbidities with the Coronavac vaccine from Sinovac Biotech Ltd. be vaccinated.
There are an estimated nine million seniors and around 14.1 million Filipinos with comorbidities who are eligible for vaccination.