The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday further clarified guidelines on the COVID-19 National Deployment and Vaccination Plan. In its Department Memorandum (DM) No. 2021-0175, DOH provided the following updates on the deployment plan:

1. Individuals who recently recovered from COVID-19 may be vaccinated immediately after recovery or completion of treatment for their first or second dose.
2. Individuals who were not able to receive their second dose due to medical reasons must coordinate with their respective vaccination sites for the immediate rescheduling of their vaccination.
3. Only individuals experiencing a blood pressure (BP) of 180/120 or higher with signs and symptoms of organ damage during the screening process, cannot be vaccinated. Other vaccine recipients with blood pressure not meeting definitions of hypertensive emergency may be vaccination.
4. Medical clearance is NOT REQUIRED, except for immunocompromised individuals such as those with autoimmune disease, HIV, cancer patients currently undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, transplant patients, those undergoing steroid treatment, and patients who are bedridden or with a poor prognosis.
5. The following are examples of comorbid conditions under the A3 Priority Group, based on priority diseases that have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 if infected:

● Chronic respiratory disease and infection such as asthma and respiratory allergies, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Interstitial Lung Diseases, Cystic Fibrosis, or Pulmonary Hypertension, Pulmonary Tuberculosis, Chronic bronchitis, Histoplasmosis, Bronchiectasis
● Cardiovascular disease such as hypertension coronary heart diseases, cardiomyopathies, peripheral artery disease, aortic diseases, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease
● Chronic kidney disease
● Cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke and transient ischemic attack
● Cancer of malignancy
● Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 and Type 2
● Obesity
● Neurologic diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Epilepsy and Seizures, Bell’s palsy, Guillan-Barre Syndrome, or acute spinal cord injury
● Chronic liver disease such as hepatitis cirrhosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
● Immunodeficiency state such as genetic immunodeficiencies, secondary or acquired immunodeficiencies (i.e. prolonged use of corticosteroids), HIV infection, Solid organ or blood transplant patients
● Other diseases such as sickle cell disease, Thalassemia or Down Syndrome

The DOH also reminds the public to observe the minimum public health standards (MPHS) even after vaccination to curb the transmission of COVID-19. Everyone is urged to get the FREE vaccines when it’s their turn through their LGUs to get additional protection against COVID-19 and prevent hospitalization due to severe disease.