When the Philippines officially launched the rollout of the COVID-19 (2019 coronavirus disease) vaccination program earlier this month, one of the first questions that linger in the minds of many Filipinos is how far will it be? in the queue to receive the blows?
This question prompted Kenneth Alambra, a graduate civil engineer from the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) and researcher Reina Sagnip from De La Salle University to jointly develop the Philippine Vaccine Queue Calculator, an online application that will allow to estimate how many people are ahead of you in the queue to get a COVID vaccine in the Philippines. It also predicts how long you may have to wait to receive your vaccine doses.
It was learned that Alambra and Sagnip had previously created a similar vaccine queue calculator for the UK as part of the Omni Calculator project, which became a huge success in the country due to the number of views that the app collected on its social media page.
According to Alambra, the calculation is based on the national priority list published by the Philippine government which has been divided into three eligible priority groups: A (1. Primary health workers; 2. Elderly; 3. People with co-morbidities , 4. Front-line personnel in essential sectors, and the needy); B (Other workers and persons at high risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as teachers, social workers, other public servants, persons with disabilities as determined by the DSWD, persons deprived of their liberty and all peoples indigenous people), and C (Remaining Filipino citizens of approximately 38 million people.
“It takes into account your age, your profession, your state of health and your risk factors. The tool then shows you the minimum and maximum number of people in front of you and a date range that you may have to wait until you get your photo, ”he said.
Alambra noted that if the government’s goal is to immunize 70% of the adult population by the end of 2021, it should administer 1,274,980 doses per week.
“At this rate, I would be behind at least 19,672,248 Filipinos who will need a COVID-19 vaccine before me, and my turn would fall from October 3, 2021 to May 29, 2022. I think the results of my tool can help. Filipinos see if the national immunization plan is being followed, ”Alambra said, illustrating where he stands in the hierarchy of the immunization priority list.
HOW TO USE THE CALCULATOR
- Enter your age in years. Seniors or those aged 60 and over will be called earlier than the youngest to be vaccinated.
- If you are a “frontline health worker” you will be given a higher priority because you are probably very exposed to the virus and need to be protected. Answer yes to this field if you are active in primary health care work.
- If you have any comorbidities like hypertension, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular or respiratory disease, stroke or cancer, to name a few, answer yes to the field of people with co-morbidities. However, it would always be best to consult your personal physician before taking the vaccine to ensure your utmost safety.
- Are you classified as essential non-health front-line personnel falling under priority group A4 or other workers falling under eligible priority group B? Answer these fields as appropriate.
- The Philippine government is also prioritizing people in high-risk areas where the population is very dense. Please indicate if you are part of the indigent population as determined by the government, a person with a disability or part of the socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk of exposure to COVID-19.
After you meet the criteria, an estimate of the minimum and maximum number of people in line to receive the vaccine before you will appear. It will also indicate how long it may take before you receive both doses of the vaccine and are fully protected, depending on the vaccination rate.
By default, Alambra said it based the figures on a vaccination rate of around 1,274,980 vaccinations per week, a rate that meets the government’s goal of vaccinating up to 70% of the Filipino population by 2021. .
He added that they had also considered a default absorption rate of 56% “because not everyone who has been asked to receive the vaccine will accept it.” This was based on the survey conducted in February 2021 by researchers at the University of Santo Tomas which found that only 56% of the more than 15,600 respondents are ready to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Interestingly, these values can be changed in the Vaccine Deployment section of the calculator.
“We know that waiting for the vaccine can be frustrating. However, by prioritizing those most at risk of hospitalization and death, we should quickly be able to save lives with this fantastic new weapon against the virus, ”said Alambra.
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