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What will happen if the priority list and guidelines in giving the COVID-19 vaccine are not followed and adhere to by local government units?

COVID-19 VACCINE – Amid the increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections, issues about not following the guidelines to get a COVID-19 vaccine arise.

The Philippines is currently in a hard fight against the COVID-19 following the highest number of daily infections at over 8,000 cases has just been recorded recently. It caused fear to a lot of people and the urgency to have a vaccine following the threats of being infected is definitely understandable.

Covid-19 Vaccine
Photo lifted from BBC

With the giving out of vaccine, there have been a priority list released that must be followed. However, despite the strict implementation of this, there are instances that people who must not be prioritized jump in line to get inoculated, thus, issues regarding this matter ignited. People who accordingly didn’t follow this included mayors and an actor. President Duterte revealed the mayors who received the vaccination despite not being on the list of prioritized persons:

  • Minglanilla, Cebu Mayor Elenito Peña
  • Alicia Town. Bohol Mayor Victoriano Torres III
  • San Miguel, Bohol Mayor Virgilio Mendez
  • Lila Town, Bohol Mayor Arturo Piollo II
  • Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez
  • T’boli, South Cotabato Mayor Dibu Tuan
  • Sto. Niño, South Cotabato Mayor Sulpicio Villalobos
  • Legazpi City, Albay Mayor Noel Rosal
  • Bataraza, Palawan Mayor Abraham Ibba

Also, just recently, it has been revealed that actor Mark Anthony Fernandez received a jab last March 22 which ignited controversies because he is an actor and being an actor is not prioritized yet. Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III blasted the Parañaque City for letting this to happen but the mayor defended the actor saying he’s eligible because of his co-morbidities such as depression and hypertension.

Covid-19 Vaccine
Photo lifted from Business World

The Parañaque City mayor even insisted that they did not violate any rules. With all these happening, what could probably turn out if the local government and officials won’t adhere to the set of prioritized persons?

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Wednesday as per One News article that not adhering will result in compromised vaccine supply due to the limited doses that the country has. She stressed that it must be given to “who most need and deserve” it, who are the health workers. Through presidential spokesman Harry Roque, it’s also been said by the Malacanang that such violation might “jeopardize the conditions set by the COVAX Facility on donated vaccines”.

With the possible violations done, the mayors might face administrative charges.

Here’s the list of priorities to get the vaccination:

  • A1: Frontline workers in health facilities both national and local, private and public, health professionals and non-professionals like students, nursing aides, janitors, barangay health workers, etc.
  • A2: Senior citizens aged 60 years old and above 
  • A3: Persons with comorbidities not otherwise included in the preceding categories 
  • A4: Frontline personnel in essential sectors, including uniformed personnel and those in working sectors identified by the IATF as essential during ECQ 
  • A5: Indigent populations not otherwise included in the preceding categories
  • B1: Teachers, social workers 
  • B2: Other government workers 
  • B3: Other essential workers 
  • B4: Socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk other than senior citizens and indigent people 
  • B5: Overseas Filipino Workers 
  • B6: Other remaining workforce 
  • C: Rest of the Filipino population not otherwise included in the above groups

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