Bivalent vax priority list revealed

Healthcare workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities would be on the national government’s top list when the bivalent Covid-19 vaccines arrive in the country, the Department of Health said Thursday.

Around one million doses of bivalent vaccines from the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility co-led by the World Health Organization are expected to arrive in the country by the end of March, in which the first batch will be given to the vulnerable groups.

According to the DoH, this is in line with the conditions set by the COVAX Facility.

“Once additional doses are secured and available, prioritization may be expanded to other priority groups,” the DoH said.

It said that it is currently finalizing guidelines for the use of bivalent vaccines and that the guidelines will be issued in time for the vaccines’ roll-out in the country.

“Currently, different strategies and allocation mechanisms are being studied by DoH, taking into consideration acceptability, equity, and operational efficiency in utilizing the vaccine,” the DoH added.

Earlier, Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the agency is currently coordinating with other countries that offered donations of bivalent vaccines.

Though she did not disclose yet, Vergeire said one country has already confirmed commitment and is just finalizing its delivery date.

The DoH previously said it is in discussions with vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna to provide bivalent vaccines in the country.

An earlier survey, which reportedly revealed that those who have already received the first boosters are very interested in receiving this bivalent vaccine, will be used as the basis for procurement.

However, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said that there is no need to rush the procurement of bivalent vaccines as the number of infections in the country continues to drop.

“There is no need for us to rush just like in 2021 because the risk is decreasing so we also have to adjust to the scientific assessment of the Covid situation,” said the Chief Executive.

The DoH earlier reported 1,206 new Covid cases recorded from 23 to 29 January.

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