MANILA - The mayor of San Miguel town in Bohol said Thursday he was qualified to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a senior citizen with comorbidities.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier asked five mayors to explain their COVID-19 vaccination at a time when the country prioritizes only health workers.
Mayor Virgilio Mendez was not among the five mayors but he was named by President Rodrigo Duterte in his weekly address Wednesday night.
"Hindi naman siguro sumingit...because may mga naka schedule doon na hindi na sumipot. I was asking the doctor what will you do now. Can you look for substitute? 'Wala po, di po nagpunta,'" he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(It's not like I jumped the line...because there were those scheduled who did not appear. I was asking the doctor what will you do now. Can you look for substitute? 'They did not come.')
"I was there, a senior with some comorbidities. Sabi niya 'I think there’s nothing wrong naman,mayor, because you’re also exposed'...I just took the liberty, the risk, considering that qualified na rin ako being senior citizen."
(The doctor said 'I think there’s nothing wrong with it mayor because you’re also exposed.' I just took the liberty, the risk, considering that qualified as a senior citizen.)
The town has 2 vials of unused vaccines, Mendez said.
"It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t," he said. "Kung hindi magagamit, sayang naman."
(If we will not use it, it will go to waste.)
Malacañang had said medical frontliners should be the only group to get COVID-19 shots for now as violations of this rule would impact future deliveries from vaccine-sharing COVAX Facility, which said health workers should be prioritized.