DOH encourages senior citizens, persons with co-morbidities to get COVID jab

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (PTV Laging Handa screengrab)

CALOOCAN CITY, May 28 (PIA) -- Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III is encouraging COVID-19 vaccine priority sectors including senior citizens under A2 priority list and persons with comorbidities or A3 to get inoculated. 

“Ang kinakailangan natin ngayon ay isulong ang vaccination para sa senior citizens or A2 dahil diyan galing ang mga na-hospital na talagang biktima ng nakamamatay na komplikasyon ng COVID-19 infection,” Sec. Duque III said during the Laging Handa Public Briefing presented by the Presidential Communications Operations Office on Thursday, May 28.

The DOH chief said the government is aiming to prevent further complications for senior citizens. "That’s why we need to vaccinate them as early as possible."

For her part, DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said only around 12 percent of the senior citizens and persons with comorbidities were registered and vaccinated in 1,381 vaccination sites. 

“Karamihan po ng ating nabakunahan ay iyong tinatawag nating A1 priority. Nasa 85 porsyento na po tayo sa first dose na masterlisted,” Cabotaje said. 

Meanwhile, DOH Secretary Duque III cited that the vaccine expert panel is currently studying the possibility of amending the emergency use authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech to allow minors aged 12 to 15 years old to be inoculated with Pfizer vaccine. 

“Dapat talagang linawin na dahil kulang pa ang bakuna at hindi naman sila kabilang doon sa tinatawag natin na high-risk group,” Duque said, adding that minors will not be included yet in the prioritization due to low in vaccine supply. 

“Ang dapat talagang itulak natin ang mabilisang bakunahan para sa mga senior citizens and A3,” Duque said.

The health secretary emphasized that due to limited vaccine supply, the country currently needs to follow the prioritization formula. "Because the supply is spread to more individuals, we will not reach the protection needed by vulnerable groups," he said. (PIA NCR)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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