Lawmaker wants Olympics, SEA Games-bound athletes prioritized for vaccines

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 26) — A House lawmaker has proposed that athletes vying for slots in the SEA Games and 2021 Olympics be prioritized for coronavirus vaccines by considering them as frontliners.

1-PACMAN Party-list Rep. Michael Romero on Tuesday filed House Resolution No. 1507 asking that some athletes be prioritized so they could participate in qualifying events this year.

"It is imperative that our national athletes should be classified as frontliners, in order to prioritize their vaccination against COVID-19 at the soonest possible time, to ensure they will be allowed to participate in the qualifying stages," the resolution stated.

The Department of Health has yet to issue a comment on the matter.

Romero added that a national athlete's main focus is to bring honor and glory to the country.

Health care workers, indigent senior citizens, remaining senior citizens, and the indigent population are the priority groups in the government's vaccination program.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said based on current negotiations, the government expects to be able to purchase at least 148 million doses from around seven vaccine manufacturers. If this goes as planned, around 50 to 70 million Filipinos could be given shots by the end of 2021, he added. The government targets to immunize at least 60 to 65 percent of the population in a bid to achieve "herd immunity."