Where are you in the vaccine queue? This Pinoy-made tool can tell

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

March 18, 2021, 8:47 pm

<p><em>(Graphics by Jay Rome Pablo)</em></p>

(Graphics by Jay Rome Pablo)

MANILA – You can now get a rough idea how far you are in the line for the coronavirus vaccine with a Pinoy-made calculator that estimates where you are in the queue.

Engineer Kenneth Alambra from the University of the Philippines Los Baños developed the Philippine Vaccine Queue Calculator, which takes into account your age, profession, health condition, and risk factor.

The calculator estimates the number of people in front of you in the queue and the possible dates when you could get your shots, based on the available vaccines at present and the government's target.

Alambra said he drew inspiration from a similar online tool developed by his colleague Steve Wooding for the United Kingdom.

He teamed up with his researcher friend, Reina Sagnip from De La Salle University-Manila, and together, they created the tool for the Omni Calculator Project, based on the national priority list.

In order to reach the national plan of vaccinating 70 percent of the country's adult population by end of 2021, Alambra said the government needs to vaccinate at least 1,274,980 people per week.

"Based on my tool, I'm in line behind at least 19,665,964 Filipinos, and my turn falls within October 3, 2021 - May 29, 2022. I believe my calculator answers a question on millions of Filipino’s minds," he said.

Alambra hopes this tool could provide a sense of what's to come and serve as a reminder to the public to protect themselves while the country works towards achieving herd immunity.

"Coming into the year 2021, I think that most of us are wishing that the virus would just disappear, but in reality, it’s going to take time to get us all vaccinated. That was one of the major motivators for this calculator, giving people a realistic timeline, and comfort knowing that the end is in sight even if it’s still months away," he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

"When we have realistic expectations it changes our behavior, and we need to keep the long game in mind. While the most vulnerable need to be protected immediately, we can’t let our guard down as a community until we get widespread herd immunity in order to protect each other, and we have a ways to go," he added.

How to use the vaccine queue calculator?

1. Enter your age in years. Senior citizens or those 60 years old and above will be called up sooner than younger ones to have the vaccine.

2. If you are a front-line health worker, you will be prioritized because you are likely to have a lot of exposure to the virus and needs to be protected. Answer yes to this field if you are currently an active frontline health worker.

3. If you have any comorbidities like hypertension, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, any cardiovascular or respiratory diseases, stroke, or cancer, to name a few, answer yes to the persons with comorbidities field. However, it would still be best to consult your personal physician before taking the vaccine to ensure your utmost safety.

4. Are you classed as a non-health front-line essential personnel falling under A4 priority group or other workers under priority eligible group B? Answer these fields out appropriately.

5. The Philippine government also prioritizes people in high-risk areas where the population is highly dense. Indicate if you are a part of the indigent population as determined by the government, a person with disability, or part of the sociodemographic groups at significantly higher risk of exposure to Covid-19.

For example, you are a 29-year old person with no co-morbidity and is neither a front-line health worker nor an essential worker, you should expect to receive your first dose of the vaccine between Aug. 18, 2021 and Oct. 17, 2021 if the government is able to achieve a vaccination rate of 1,274,980 a week.

Who are first on the list? In a nutshell, those who have been on the front-line of the pandemic, including doctors, nurses, hospital staff, police and soldiers, get the jab.

In the country, the vaccination rollout has begun on the first day of March, with health workers getting the first jabs. The elderly adults are next on the list.

When is mass immunization expected to start?

National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said the mass immunization of the general public will begin once the vaccine production and supply become steady between May and June 2021.

The Philippines targets to inoculate one million Filipinos weekly in April, two million weekly in May, and at least three to five million weekly in July and in the succeeding months.

As of this writing, all 1,125,600 doses of vaccines available in the country have been deployed in various public and private hospitals nationwide, with healthcare workers as a priority.

Within this month, the Philippines is expected to receive two million more doses of Covid-19 vaccines, about 1.4 million are CoronaVac from Beijing-based biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac.

An additional two million CoronaVac doses and two million of Sputnik V from Gamaleya and the COVAX Facility are also expected to arrive by April.

The Philippine Vaccine Queue Calculator may be accessed for free through  https://www.omnicalculator.com/health/vaccine-queue-philippines. (PNA)