Since the arrival of the first batch of Sinovac vaccine on March 1, there remains a question on a lot of Filipinos’ minds: “when can we get vaccinated?” Well, it depends.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), there are three eligible groups: Group A comprise of frontline health workers, senior citizens, indigent population, and uniformed personnel. Group B includes teachers and school workers, other government workers, essential workers, vulnerable and co-morbid groups, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), other remaining workforce, and students, and Group C refers to remaining Filipinos.
The inoculation for the first group is ongoing, and is expected to continue as more vaccine doses arrive in the country. While there is no clear timeline yet as for the distribution plan for the rest of the Philippine population, the DOH website said that the government’s objective is to provide equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to the priority eligible groups or almost 70 million Pinoys by 2021, 60 to 70% of the whole population by 2022, and the rest of the Filipino population within the next three (3) years.
In case you’re wondering if you can procure the vaccine in local pharmacies by yourself, for now, the answer is no as only vaccines which have finished the phase 4 clinical trials are provided a Certificate of Product Registration (CPR), which would allow the vaccine to be available commercially. Most of the COVID-19 vaccines available in the market are still in Phase 3.
So it’s a waiting game for now. It would be best to liaise with local government authorities in order to gather information on the city or municipality COVID-19 vaccination plan. For now, Pinoys are still in the waiting game, so you might want to rethink planning that big party. It can wait.