BY CHITO CHAVEZ
Actor Mark Anthony Fernandez received a COVID-19 vaccine shot in Parañaque City despite his exclusion from the priority list of the city vaccination program, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) confirmed Wednesday.
DILG Undersecretary for Operations Epimaco Densing III, in an interview over DzBB, expressed disgust over Fernandez’s inoculation with COVID-19 vaccine, stressing it totally disregarded the priority list of the national vaccination program.
Fernandez reportedly got injected with COVID-19 dose from AstraZeneca which is among the vaccines donated from the COVAX facility on March 23.
Densing slammed Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez for allowing one person to break into the queue of the priority list in the vaccination.
The DILG official emphasized that the health care workers should be prioritized in the COVID-19 vaccination process based on the priority roster of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Densing explained that the health workers were placed in the WHO priority list since they are the frontliners in the country’s uphill battle against COVID-19, thus they need to be protected from the virus.
Densing stressed that Fernandez’s injection means one less vaccine and one less protected health worker. On concerns that the police were also vaccinated, Densing pointed out that they are included in the priority list for COVID-19 vaccines being frontliners like the medical health workers.
In a media forum, Department of Health (DoH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the matter of jumping into the COVID-19 vaccine priority queue was referred to the DILG and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to determine what sanctions can be imposed on the guilty parties. (Chito A. Chavez)