MANILA - A person who refuses to get a free COVID-19 vaccine during inoculation may have to wait until his preferred vaccine is available, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government said Friday.
"Unfortunately, that person has to go back to the line. Meaning, assuming he is A2 or A3, he will have to go back to the line of all of the A2 or A3 masterlist in that specific community," Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in an ANC interview.
"That will delay the inoculation of that person. If there are many persons like that, that delays the inoculation of the community," he added.
The DILG has ordered local government units to stop announcing the brand of COVID-19 vaccines available at specific vaccination sites to prevent residents from flocking there despite not having a set schedule
Earlier this week, hundreds were reported to have gone to a vaccination site in Manila City after residents were notified that Pfizer shots would be distributed there.
Malaya reiterated that the government is asking everyone to not be "choosy" and take whatever brand of COVID-19 vaccine is available as long as it has been approved by the local regulator.
He noted that some vaccine shipments could face delays.
"We are appealing to all that everybody knows—I hope everybody knows—that all vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration are efficacious and safe. Therefore, all of them will help us achieve herd immunity and all of them will allow us to end this pandemic," he said.
Malaya added that people's right to information will be fully respected in the brand agnostic vaccination campaign.
"On the day itself of the inoculation, the individual of course has a right to know what brand he is going to get. During the screening step during the vaccination process, he/she may ask the doctors or the nurses what brand," he said.
"Right to information of the individual is fully respected in implementing this directive."