MANILA (UPDATE) - Metro Manila mayors are urged to issue local ordinances penalizing the use of government-procured COVID-19 vaccines as booster shots, according to a government document released Sunday.
The mayors of all 16 cities and 1 town in the National Capital Region on Friday signed Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Resolution No. 21-18, asking them to take such action.
"It is hereby resolved that, the Metro Manila Council hereby urges local government units of Metro Manila to issue executive orders and or enact ordinances therein penalizing all persons who are found to be responsible for the unauthorized inoculation utilizing government-procured COVID-19 vaccines as booster shots... based on existing laws, ordinances, rules and regulations," the resolution read.
These include vaccinators, vaccine recipients, facilitators, and others.
"The use, deployment and administration of COVID-19 vaccines which were procured by the private sector shall be strictly governed by the terms and conditions imposed by the National Government in connection with their acquisition," it added.
The resolution said the proposed executive order and ordinances must also require a vaccine recipient to "expressly declare in a Patient/Vaccination Form that he/she has not yet been fully-vaccinated for COVID-19" prior to vaccination.
In a Teleradyo interview on Monday, MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos confirmed that the agency had called on mayors to penalize unauthorized COVID-19 booster shots.
"Dapat talaga itong mga ganito ay maimbestigahan at maparusahan po," he said.
(Cases like these should be investigated and penalized.)
Whether the anti-virus jabs were procured by the government or private sector, Abalos reiterated that state policy would always remain.
"Meron ding privately na pinurchase. Dahil ito ay experimental use, mananatili pa rin ang government policy dito," he said.
(There are vaccines purchased by the private sector. Because it's for experimental use, the government policy will stay.)
The Quezon City government earlier said it has filed charges against 2 persons who reportedly received unauthorized booster shots after full vaccination against COVID-19, even as millions of others have yet to be inoculated because of limited supply.
The Department of Health earlier said booster jabs would be against state policy as these have yet to be recommended by the country's vaccine expert panel or all-experts group.
At least 12 million individuals in the country have so far been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while over 14.1 million doses have been administered as first shots.
In Metro Manila, some 10.5. million doses of different COVID-19 vaccine brands have been administered. Of the figure, 6.4 were first shots while 4.1 million were second doses, Abalos said.
The Philippines has received more than 42.5 million doses of different vaccine brands since Feb. 28 this year. The inoculation drive began March 1.
The country on Sunday logged 14,749 more COVID-19 infections, the second highest single-day tally since the start of the pandemic.
Of the 1,741,616 total recorded cases, 102,748 or 5.9 percent are active, while 30,340 were deaths. Authorities have confirmed the detection in the country of the highly transmissible Delta variant, and of the Lambda variant.