Govt to explore proposal prioritizing NCR in COVID-19 vaccine drive

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 21) — The government will study the proposal seeking to prioritize Metro Manila residents in the COVID-19 vaccination program as the region remains the virus epicenter, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

In a virtual briefing on Sunday, Roque said the proposal would be discussed by the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group or NITAG.

"Paguusapan sa NITAG 'yung proposal na itutok muna ang mga paparating na bakuna sa Metro Manila dahil sa nangyayaring spike," he said.

[Translation: NITAG will discuss the proposal to allot the arriving vaccines to Metro Manila amid the spike in cases.]

RELATED: Senator backs proposal to prioritize NCR residents for COVID-19 vaccination amid case spike

The suggestion was first floated by OCTA Research Fellow Dr. Guido David, stressing that the National Capital Region affects the situation nationwide.

The OCTA Research Team said the capital region, Calabarzon, and Central Luzon had posted the most new cases last March 19, when the country breached the 7,000-mark for the first time with 7,103 new cases. Of this figure, more than half or 3,779 new infections were listed under Metro Manila.

It was on Saturday when the country logged its record-high COVID-19 infections with 7,999 new cases.

The Department of Health, meanwhile, on Sunday saw a slight drop in the tally, reporting 7,757 new cases.

Roque expressed optimism the national government could still meet its target of immunizing 50 million to 70 million Filipinos this year.

READ: Gov’t keeps 70M vaccination target by year-end, eyes 'better Christmas' for Filipinos