MANILA, Philippines —Reports of people receiving COVID-19 vaccinations despite not being healthcare workers (HCWs) have already been forwarded to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), according to the Department of Health (DOH).
“Recent reports of non-HCWs being inoculated have already been referred to the DILG,” DOH Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters in a Viber message.
Vergeire made the statement in response to a question about Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez’s vaccination with CoronaVac, a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by China’s Sinovac Biotech. Romualdez got the vaccine at his home in the San Jose District.
READ: Tacloban Mayor Romualdez injected with CoronaVac at home
In his press briefing on Tuesday, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said he would refer the matter to the DILG for investigation.
In the meantime, Vergeire reiterated that due to the scarcity of vaccine doses, they should be given first to healthcare staff “who most need and deserve it.”
“The DOH further reiterates the plea of the President and calls on officials in the government to await their turns and follow the approved prioritization framework being employed by the national government,” she added.
Vergeire also cited a previous statement by Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, World Health Organization country representative, that vaccine doses from the Covax Facility must first be administered to the specified priority groups, beginning with healthcare workers.
READ: WHO urges PH to follow priority list for continued rollout of COVAX vaccines
“Giving the vaccines to non-HCWs when not all HCWs have been vaccinated will jeopardize succeeding doses from COVAX,” she added.
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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
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