The GOVERNMENT will prioritize people aged 18 to 59 years with serious illnesses for vaccination against the coronavirus, according to a memo issued by the Department of Health (DoH).

Under the memo dated March 30, these illnesses include chronic respiratory, cardiovascular, chronic kidney, cerebrovascular, chronic liver and neurologic diseases, hypertension, malignancy, diabetes, obesity and immunodeficiency.

Affected people should present a medical certificate, medical prescription, hospital records such as discharge summary and medical abstract, or surgical and pathology reports issued in the past 18 months.

People with autoimmune diseases, human immunodeficiency virus, cancer/malignancy, transplant and bed-ridden patients, and those undergoing steroid treatment must get a medical clearance before getting vaccinated, according to the memo.

Patients with hypertensive emergencies will not be vaccinated and must be referred to the emergency room. Vaccination will be rescheduled until their condition is controlled, DoH said.

Migrant Filipinos and other groups with legal residency status in the Philippines such as foreign nationals or diplomats will be included in the priority group they belong to, including senior citizens or those with serious illnesses.

About 670,000 people had been vaccinated as of March 29, presidential spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. said on Tuesday. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas