MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Monday called on the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to prioritize the NCR Plus and other urban areas with high cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the government’s vaccination rollout.
In a statement, Velasco said these areas should be prioritized after all medical frontliners in the country are fully inoculated against COVID-19.
“As we await large supplies of vaccines to come in, we urge the IATF to prioritize NCR Plus and other urban centers in our vaccine rollout so we can quell the surge in new infections in those areas,” Velasco pointed out.
“But first and foremost, let us vaccinate all 1.7 million health care workers all over the country to make sure they are protected against COVID-19,” he added.
The NCR Plus is composed of the National Capital Region (NCR), and nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna.
Aside from the NCR Plus, Velasco said the national government should also give priority vaccine allocation to Mega Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and other regional centers across the country.
Echoing health experts, Velasco said the best defense against the “superspreader variants” would be to inundate these areas with vaccines.
“Our efforts should be strategic as we wait for the time until our vaccine supplies become stable,” Velasco said.
The Philippine government earlier reported that a total of 246,986 individuals have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A total of 1,809,801 doses have been administered in 3,415 vaccination sites in 17 regions.