IATF puts governors, mayors 2nd in line for COVID-19 vaccine priority

18-May-2021 Intellasia | PhilStar | 6:54 AM Print This Post

Malacanang on Monday said local chief executives will now be part of a new priority group in the government’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The coronavirus task force’s move places politicians under “A1.5,” next only to health workers and above senior citizens, who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

It came after the League of Cities of the Philippines made the appeal for governors and mayors to be included in the A1 group, per a report by The STAR.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in a briefing sought to explain that it is local chief executives who carry out pandemic-related curbs, including lockdowns.

“They are our instruments in the fight against COVID-19,” he said, partly in Filipino. “They may not be doctors but they are equally frontliners because in all our strategies it is them who carry out it.”

Vaccinations in the country began in March, and efforts are still on health workers, the elderly as well as those with comorbidities.

The government has faced calls and criticism along the way to ramp up daily inoculation if it looks to vaccinate 50 to 70 million this year and achieve herd immunity.

In the previous months, local officials figured in vaccine-related controversy when some jumped in the line to get their jab.

Such had led the World Health Organization to repeat its warning that failure to follow the priority list could risk the country’s share of vaccines in the COVAX facility.

By April 1, the Department of the Interior and Local government said 13 officials, or 11 mayors, a governor and a councilor were summoned over the issue.

Despite summons and calls to explain, no one has been held accountable to date.



Category: Philippines

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