Mayors should have lobbied to get COVID-19 vaccines early: senator

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 25 2021 07:42 AM

Mayors should have lobbied to get COVID-19 vaccines early: senator 1
Tacloban mayor Alfred Romualdez becomes the country's first local chief executive to receive China's CoronoVac vaccine, the Presidential Communications Operations Office earlier said. Mayor Alfred Romualdez

MANILA - Mayors should have lobbied to be included among the priority list of frontliners to receive COVID-19 vaccines to encourage their constituents, Senator Nancy Binay said Thursday.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government has asked five mayors to explain their COVID-19 vaccination at a time when the country prioritizes only health workers. 

"Siguro sana naging panawagan na lang sana isama sila sa priority just to encourage, not because gusto nila mauna na makuha ang benefits ng vaccine," Binay told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(They should have just sought to be included in the priority list just to encourage, not because they already want to get the benefits ng vaccine.)

"Naiintindihan ko yung rationale kung bakit nagpabakuna ang mga mayor...the best way to encourage them (health workers) is kung nakikita nila ang ama ng bayan ay nagpabakuna but ang problema hindi pa 'yun ang policy."

(I can understand the rationale why the mayors got vaccinated...the best way to encourage them is if they can see the father of the town was inoculated but the problem is it's not the policy.)

Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez earlier defended his decision to get inoculated against COVID-19 despite not being on the government priority list, saying he wanted to show health workers that the vaccine was safe.

The health department's policy for local governments to return unused vaccines to its central office also added to the problem, Binay said.

"Siguro ang LGU ang thinking nila andito na ang bakuna, might as well use it," she said.

(The LGU must have thought the vaccine is already here, might as well use it.)

Medical frontliners should be the only group to get COVID-19 shots for now, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque. 

Violations of this rule would impact future deliveries from vaccine-sharing COVAX Facility, which said health workers should be prioritized, he said. 

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