Quezon solon-physician says she got Covid-19 jab as a frontliner, not lawmaker
(Updated, 10:56 p.m., March 4, 2021)
MANILA, Philippines — Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan on Thursday said she does not see any violation committed when she received CoronaVac’s Covid-19 vaccine as she was vaccinated as a frontliner and not as a lawmaker.
Tan, who is a doctor by profession, made the remark after vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said that her vaccination as a dependent of a healthcare worker will be investigated since there’s no such directive from the national government.
“I don’t see any violation on any laws or policies [in] doing that. But kung gusto nila to devote their time on that, walang problema sa akin,” Tan, who is the first known lawmaker to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, said in a text message to INQUIRER.net.
“Besides I am a medical doctor and part of my regular rounds in the [district] is consultation with patients. I did that [vaccination] not as a [congressman’s] privilege, but as a frontliner and mother-frontliner also,” she added.
Tan, who also chairs the House of Representatives Committee on Health, earlier said she was vaccinated at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City as part of her eldest son’s allocation for the family as a surgeon at the hospital.
“I can’t see any reason for them to investigate, that’s what I mean. I am a medical doctor despite being a congresswoman [and] part of my regular rounds every week is giving free consultation to sick people,” Tan said.
No VIP treatment
In a statement, Tan also denied she received a special treatment when she took the first dose of Sinovac vaccine on March 2, 2021 at the VMMC.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. First, I did not receive the Covid-19 vaccine jab as a member of Congress or as Chairperson of the Committee on Health of the House of Representatives despite being a medical doctor. I primarily took it as a rightful allocation provided for my son who works as a surgeon at the VMMC,” the lawmaker said.
Adding that part of VMMC’s immunization program requires its employees to “submit a list of dependents–at least three immediate family members who would want to receive the Covid-19 vaccines, which was presented to and approved by the National Vaccination Committee according to VMMC Director, Dr. Dominador Chiong.
She further explained that in getting the Covid-19 shot, it was her intention, “more than anything else, to help boost vaccine confidence of the public in the face of widespread concerns of the Filipinos on Covid-19 vaccines’ effects, efficacy, and safety.”
“I would like to ask the public not to perceive this as a VIP treatment, since it is totally false and misguided, inasmuch as I am a legal dependent, an immediate family member of a frontliner working as a medical professional at the VMMC.
Ready to face probe
“Should there be any investigation that will be made by any appropriate agency, I am ready to submit myself to satisfy the thirst for strife and controversy of some misguided individuals and more importantly, to enable the public to find out the truth of the matter and other controversial issues surrounding the immunization program for the greater interest of the country,” Tan added.
“Nevertheless, I am reiterating my call on every Filipino to support the government’s vaccination program and help stop the Covid-19 pandemic. Magbalikatan po tayo sa gitna ng krisis na dulot ng Covid-19 imbis na magsiraan. Let us give the government’s immunization program a chance and help heal the nation [Let us help one another in the midst of this crisis brought by Covid-19 instead of destroying one another],” the Quezon congresswoman said.
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