MANILA — Malacañang on Monday requested public patience over government's pending master list of COVID-19 vaccine recipients, the lack of which reportedly allowed some unscrupulous individuals to get unauthorized booster jabs from different local governments.
Addressing reports of "vaccine-hopping", Palace spokesman Harry Roque said, "Hindi po natin kinukunsinti ‘yan dahil marami pa pong hindi nababakunahan."
(We do not condone that because many have not yet been vaccinated.)
"Ang pakiusap po natin, lahat naman po ng bakuna nagbibigay ng proteksyon. Hintayin muna natin magkaroon ng bakuna ang karamihan ng ating mga kababayan bago tayo mag-booster shot," he said in a press briefing.
(Our request is, all vaccines give protection. Let us wait for majority of our compatriots to receive their vaccine before we get booster shots.)
Pressed on whether or not government could have prevented vaccine-hopping if it had a master list of recipients, Roque said the Department of Information and Communications was coming up with one from local governments.
"Kaya lang po, gaya nang hindi naman natin inaasahan talaga iyong pandemyang ito, we’ve had to make that master list as we go along, so kaunting pasensya lang ho," said the Palace official.
(However, since we did not expend this pandemic, we’ve had to make that master list as we go along, so just have a little patience.)
"Iyong mga nagrereklamo rin na kinakailangan ng certification galing sa isang ahensya ng gobyerno lang po, d’yan papasok ‘yong DICT list natin," he added.
(Those who are also complaining that they need a certification coming from a sole government agency, that's also where our DICT list will come in)
Among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia, the Philippines aims to immunize up to 70 million people before the year ends to achieve herd immunity and safely reopen the economy.
Some 12.5 million people have been fully vaccinated so far, leaving millions vulnerable to more infectious COVID-19 variants.