DILG to Metro Manila LGUs: Use vaccine brands with shorter gap between shots
MANILA, Philippines — Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya on Thursday advised local government units (LGU) in Metro Manila not to use AstraZeneca vaccines in relation to the “no vaccination, no ride” policy, saying the gap between the first and second dose for this vaccine brand takes too long.
It can be recalled that the government recalibrated the “no vaccination, no ride policy” in Metro Manila to only allow fully vaccinated to use public transport, removing exemptions to unvaccinated who are out for essential travel and those who only had their first dose.
It was announced on January 26, that the public had been given 30 days to complete their vaccination.
However, this may pose problems to the people who only got their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccines this month since this particular brand may take four to 12 weeks before vaccinees could get their second dose, compared to other vaccines which could be administered again after less than a month.
“That’s a problem for them because ngayon lang sila magpapabakuna [they only got vaccinated now],” Malaya said over CNN Philippines when asked what would happen to people who get AstraZeneca vaccines this month.
“They should have been vaccinated much earlier,” Malaya added.
To avoid this, Malaya encouraged LGUs in Metro Manila, which imposes “no vaccine, no ride” policy, not to use AstraZeneca anymore.
“Because of the large number of vaccines available I would adivse them (local governments) not to utilize AstraZeneca,” Malaya said.
Malaya, addressing the public, explained: “They request from their LGU that they are vaccinated with another brand which will allow them to be vaccinated 30 days later so that they will not fall under this problem because if [they use] AstraZeneca sila definitely they will not be fully vaccinated.”
When asked if the government could grant exemption to AstraZeneca vaccinees, Malaya said: “We have been doing this vaccination program since March of last year. So it just so happens that we cannot delay further the implementation of this policy. That is why we gave a window and the most we can do under the circumstances is 30 days,” Malaya explained.
Malaya, however, said he will raise the concern of AstraZeneca vacinees to attached agencies.
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