Palace to mayors: Don’t skip vaccine line or we lose 44M doses of COVID-19 jabs
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday cautioned local chief executives not to skip the line in the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program because such a breach of the priority ranking might result in the Philippines losing 44 million doses of the precious jabs.
“It is wrong [to jump the line.] Mga mayor, tama na ‘yan. Kapag ‘yan ay nagpatuloy, 44 million ang dosages ng COVAX facility vaccines ang pwedeng mawala sa atin,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.
(It is wrong to jump the line. Mayors, stop that. If that continues, we might lose 44 million vaccine doses from COVAX facility.)
This remark from President Rodrigo Duterte’s mouthpiece comes after the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued show-cause orders to five mayors for getting vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of the prioritized sector.
Roque then explained that while local officials moved up the priority hierarchy for vaccination, the government is only inoculating healthcare workers at this time.
“Sinabi na namin na naitaas ‘yung priority ng mga mayor to A4, kasama na sila ng economic frontliners, ng mga sundalo. Pero sa ngayon, A1 pa lang ang pinababakunahan natin at ‘wag mag-jump ng line,” he emphasized.
(We said before that mayors moved up the priority list to A4; they’re now part of the economic frontliners, soldiers. But for now, only those in A1 are being vaccinated and so do not jump the line.)
Based on the country’s vaccination priority groups, frontline healthcare workers (A1) are the first to be immunized against COVID-19, followed by senior citizens (A2) and people with comorbidities (A3).
The World Health Organization has set this priority ranking as a requirement for vaccine donations from the global vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX facility.
Breach of such a requirement could jeopardize countries’ requests for vaccine donations.
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