Politicians urged to give way to medical frontliners | Inquirer News

Politicians urged to give way to medical frontliners

/ 04:52 AM March 03, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s vaccine czar appealed to local officials on Tuesday to step aside from the initial vaccine rollout and leave the slots to health and pandemic front-line workers, amid the limited supply of vaccines.

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government decided to prioritize the 1.7 million health- care workers throughout the first quarter and spread out the 500,000 doses of CoronaVac not only among hospitals in major cities but across the country.

This is part of the 600,000 doses donated by China, of which 100,000 doses went to the Department of Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.


Despite the low supply, government officials initially resorted to using “influencers” or volunteer government officials as they battled hesitancy among hospital workers, who preferred a different brand, and public mistrust resulting from delays in the vaccination drive.


In a “symbolic” vaccination in Marikina City on Tuesday, Galvez appealed to mayors to join the “general public vaccination,” which could begin in April and May or once the government has more vaccines.

“[Because] once we open the floodgate, all mayors would get themselves vaccinated. A single dose [you give to a mayor] would deprive a health-care worker of that slot,” he said.

More hospitals and local governments have requested doses of the Chinese vaccine, including St. Luke’s Medical Center, he said.

Galvez, his deputy Vivencio Dizon, and Metro Manila Development Authority Chair Benhur Abalos were the only government officials vaccinated so far.

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TAGS: coronavirus Philippines, politicians

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