Palace admits some ‘breaches’ in vaccine prioritization
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday admitted there were some “breaches” on the vaccination protocols after two officials who are not on the government’s priority list received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Despite this, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque assured the government already “learned” from the lapses as he stressed the medical frontliners remain a top priority for the vaccines.
“Hindi po tayo perfect sa pagpapatupad nitong protocol, nagkaroon tayo ng kakaunting breaches pero we have learned from the breaches and now, everyone knows medical frontliners muna,” Roque said in an online briefing.
Roque made the admission when sought to comment on the vaccination of Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority public services head Michael Salalima despite not being health workers.
According to Roque, the two officials were only prodded by staff at the Pasay City General Hospital to be vaccinated to boost public confidence.
“Now the two naman in good faith thought they were doing the nation a service by having themselves vaccinated kasi nga mataas pa yung distrust sa bakuna,” Roque said.
“In fact, sa aking pagkakausap kay Usec. Malaya, hindi niya talaga alam na hindi naapprove yung gusto namin na mga taong gobyerno ang magpapaturok para ma-increase po ang vaccine confidence,” he went on.
The National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) rejected a proposal to allocate some vaccines to “influencers” consisting of public officials due to the limited supply.
The Philippines, so far, only has 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines being distributed to various hospitals across the country.
This Thursday night, it is expected to receive 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility.
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