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Non-Frontliners Cutting COVID-19 Vaccination Queue, Official Says

COVID-19 VACCINATION – A number of non-frontliners have recently cutting the queue of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination, an official said.

COVID-19 VACCINATION
San Juan City launches its vaccination program as medical frontliners from the San Juan Medical Center get inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine at the Filoil Flying V Arena on March 6, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News | Image from: ABS-CBN News

The Philippines have began its immunization program against COVID-19 earlier this month, prioritizing health workers who battle the disease in the frontlines, according to .

Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega, who is also the treatment czar, said however that there are reports of non-health workers who have been cutting the line.

“We’ve had reports of this. Although we’ve been saying this can’t be because we have a prioritized vaccination in terms of health workers. This has been observed. The numbers are very insignificant but we do see a number jumping the queue,”

“I’m not so sure of the specifics but I’m aware there are, who really are jumping the queue.”

When asked about possible penalties, Vega said that he leaves it to the government’s vaccine cluster.

“This has been observed across the globe. There has been a jump in the queue and we cannot avoid this oftentimes, sometimes it happens,”

The country has inoculated “below 50 percent” of its health workers nationwide, so far, Vega said. The government aims to vaccinate 50 to 70 million Filipinos or a third of its population this year to achieve herd immunity.

“In Metro Manila we have already given the first dose to roughly about 71-75 percent of all healthcare workers. In provinces, it’s still low. We’re just hitting about 35 percent probably at this time,”

Based on the report, the administration received criticism earlier after the unauthorized inoculation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s security detail. Former special envoy to China Mon Tulfo also said he was vaccinated with Sinopharm, which has yet to be approved for emergency use in the country.

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