MANILA - The Quezon City government "has commenced" the filing of charges against two individuals who reportedly received unauthorized booster shots after full vaccination against COVID-19, even as millions of others remain unvaccinated because of limited supply.
According to the LGU on Friday afternoon, one of the individuals registered in a Quezon City vaccination program through a company master list even though he already had received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
"This man got his second dose of Sinovac in Mandaluyong City on May 10 then received another Moderna vaccine shot in Quezon City this week. While the social media posts of this individual have since been deleted, his posts have been forwarded to the city government," it said in a statement.
The other individual received also two doses of Sinovac vaccine in Quezon City, then "bragged of receiving a third dose of Pfizer."
"It was not disclosed whether the third jab was administered at another vaccine center or the same one where the first two were dispensed," the LGU said.
Quezon City Joy Belmonte slammed the “greedy and selfish” individuals for their actions.
“We in the local government are taking this matter seriously. We will not tolerate actions like this especially that a good number of individuals have yet to receive their first vaccine dose, not just in our city but in our country in general. Nagkakagulo na nga para lang makakuha ng bakuna ang mga tao, may manlalamang pa,” she said.
According to Quezon City public counsel Paolo Casimiro, the two allegedly violated Section 3, Paragraphs 8 and 9 of the city measure known as “An Ordinance Prohibiting COVID-19 Vaccine Fraud.”
Paragraphs 8 and 9 state that "misrepresentation of vaccine status for purposes of fraud, or deceit, including a fully-vaccinated person pretending to be unvaccinated for purposes of receiving additional unwarranted inoculations, and commission of any other deceit or fraud in relation to the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.”
"The complaints have been sworn into the Office of the City Prosecutor to send a strong message that the city government takes the vaccination and other pandemic-related programs very seriously," Casimiro said.
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier Friday criticized those who got booster shots. According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, this could not be called a "booster" yet because the government has not approved the additional inoculation of fully vaccinated individuals to bolster COVID-19 immunity.
The health department will reach out to the person to monitor possible side effects, she said.