People in granular lockdown areas can’t get scheduled COVID vaccine: DILG
MANILA – People under granular lockdown are not allowed to go to their scheduled COVID-19 vaccination, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said Friday.
Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said this is because areas under granular lockdown are considered “critical zones.”
“Areas that are to be placed under granular lockdown are critical zones, meaning there is a confirmed COVID case or a cluster of COVID cases in that particular area,” he said in an interview on ANC’s “Headstart.”
“So those people who are in the critical zone, they are at risk. Or they may already be infected with COVID. Therefore it does not make sense for us to allow them to go to a vaccination, even if their schedule falls within the period when they are under lockdown.”
He stressed, however, that those who will miss their vaccine schedules due to granular lockdowns will be prioritized for the jab once restrictions are lifted.
“Once they have finished the lockdown, they will be the priority in the vaccination,” he said.
Metro Manila on Thursday started testing out a new 5-level alert system accompanied by granular lockdowns, which government hoped would arrest the spread of COVID-19 while reopening the economy.
A group of experts, however, has said that granular lockdowns must be accompanied with immediate detection of active cases, effective contact tracing and intensified vaccination.
The Philippines has administered 40 million COVID-19 vaccine doses as of September 16.
At least 17.67 million people are now fully vaccinated against the deadly disease, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Government aims to vaccinate up to 70 million people before the year ends to achieve herd immunity and safely reopen the economy.
Authorities are also studying the possibility of vaccinating the general adult population by October if jabs are enough, President Rodrigo Duterte said.