DOH probes reports of vaccine queue-jumping

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2021 05:57 PM

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/File

MANILA - The Department of Health said Tuesday it was investigating reports of individuals allegedly jumping the queue to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

"There are monitoring processes in place and there are investigations on those that we have received," Dr. Razel Nikka Hao, deputy to the COVID-19 surveillance and quick action unit of DOH, told reporters in a press briefing. 

"I just want to reiterate that we really all should play our role in making sure that our prioritization list is being followed."

In the government's vaccination plan, health workers shall first receive the COVID-19 jabs. They are followed by older people, persons with comorbidities or underlying conditions, other essential workers, including uniformed personnel, and indigent population -- all in group A.

Next in the priority list is group B, which are other frontline workers and special population. The remaining population or group C is at the bottom of the pile.

Violators should be made accountable, which lies either on the hospital chief or local government unit, Hao said.

"We want to reiterate the prioritization framework has to be followed. Not doing such will risk us not receiving future supplies, not only from COVAX facility but even in our other engagements," she said.

 

A health official earlier confirmed reports of queue-jumping in some inoculation sites.

"This has been observed. The numbers are very insignificant but we do see a number jumping the queue," Treatment czar and Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega told ANC Monday.

Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez also received flak for getting vaccinated despite government policy that the limited shots should be reserved for health workers.

"... I did it to lead my people out of fear. And I'm glad they responded positively! Never say that I did it to save myself before others. I did it to make the people see that it was okay to get the vaccine," he said.

To date, over 336,000, mostly medical frontliners, have been vaccinated in the country against the disease, according to data from the health ministry. Up to 70 million are targeted for vaccination to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19.


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