Senators express dismay over Roque’s vaccine remark
Aileen Cerrudo • January 13, 2021 • 325
MANILA, Philippines — Several Senators have expressed dismay over Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s remark on why Filipinos should not be picky with the COVID-19 vaccine brand they will receive.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, in a statement, said it is not fair for Filipinos to not be able to choose their vaccines made available by the government. Lacson added he would not pick a vaccine with 50% against other brands with 79% efficacy.
“Instead of building people’s confidence by starting with a higher efficacy vaccine and accomplish its intended purpose, to tell them they can’t be choosy is definitely not a smart information campaign to promote mass inoculation,” he said.
Senators Risa Hontiveros and Francis Pangilinan also said the Palace should stop with the remarks since it can only lessen the trust of Filipinos on vaccines
“Itong mga bitiw na salita ng spokesperson tungkol sa bakuna sa totoo lang ay nakakadagdag sa kawalan ng tiwala sa bakuna ng taumbayan. Hindi nakakatulong (The spokesperson’s words about the vaccine only adds to the distrust on vaccines. It is not helping),” Pangilinan said.
In a press briefing on Monday (January 11), Roque said the public should not be ‘choosy’ with the COVID-19 vaccines they would receive from the government.
“Totoo po, mayroon tayong lahat na karapatan para sa mabuting kalusugan pero hindi naman po pwede na pihikan dahil napakaraming Pilipino na dapat turukan (It is true that we have the right for better health but we cannot be picky because a lot of Filipinos need to be vaccinated),” Roque said.
Senator Grace Poe reiterated that it is the Filipinos’ right to choose which vaccine brand they want to receive.
“The Filipino people have every right to choose which vaccine to take, it is their money the government is spending to procure the precious doses,” she said in a statement.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 testing Czar Vince Dizon said the government is not favoring a specific country for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.
“Wala po tayong policy na pinapaboran ang isang vaccine o isang bansa. Lahat po ng vaccines na safe and effective ay ipu-pursue ng national government, vaccine czar, at vaccine cluster (There is no policy that favors a vaccine or country. All safe and effective vaccines are being pusued by the national government, vaccine czar, and vaccine cluster),” he said. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has included mayors and governors in the top priority group for the government’s COVID-19 vaccination.
Under Resolution No. 115-B approved on Monday, the IATF said all governors and mayors or all local chief executives will now be among the priority group A1.5 for vaccination, “regardless of the risk classification of their respective local government units (LGU).
The country has around 1,634 provincial governors and city and municipal mayors. They were previously under the fourth sector (A4 category) composed of essential workers.
The first sector includes healthcare workers, the second priority group is composed of senior citizens while the third sector includes persons with co-morbidities.
The Philippines has so far administered over two million vaccine doses since the government rolled out its immunization program on March 1.
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