MANILA — The DoH ordered a halt in Teodoro’s vaccination because health officials reasoned out that the city’s health workers should be prioritized first rather than its officials.Teodoro earlier offered to be the first to be inoculated in the city as he wanted to lead by example to boost the public’s confidence in the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine.
However, minutes before his scheduled inoculation, he was informed by the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG), through testing czar secretary Vince Dizon, that mayors are prohibited from taking the vaccine for now in order to give way to front-liners and health care workers.
“I was advised through NTF deputy chief implementer and testing czar Vince Dizon the statement of the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group of DOH, of Secretary Duque, that mayors, such as I, will not be allowed to be vaccinated because they want health care workers to be prioritized,” the mayor disclosed in a press conference.
“I wanted to be vaccinated first because, as I have been telling them, my constituents have doubts. Many of them are worried. They fear for their safety from the vaccine and they want to know first if what will be used on them is effective,” he added as an explanation.
The Marikina local chief executive expressed disappointment with the development and urgently requested NITAG to allow mayors to get vaccinated in order to boost the public’s confidence in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and government’s vaccination program.
To prove his point, he showed his accomplished Covid-19 vaccination consent form which showed he was really prepared to get inoculated with Sinovac’s CoronaVac.
“I hope mayors will be allowed to have themselves vaccinated to serve as a role model and example, so that our constituents will trust the process and manner of vaccination,” Teodoro stressed.
He underscored that the most pressing issue now that needs to be addressed is that a lot of people do not trust the vaccination process in its entirety and not just the kind of vaccine that is going to be used in the inoculation program.
“The number of medical front-liners at the state-run Amang Rodriguez Medical Center who prequalified for vaccination has significantly decreased from 1,500 health care workers to only 130. Likewise, when I asked some (our) residents if they want to be vaccinated, they said they would but opted to wait until others have gone ahead of them,” he noted.
In ending, Teodoro explained that the public’s distrust in the vaccines was the very reason why he came up with the concept of “follow the leader” and presented himself to be the first person to get the Covid-19 jab in Marikina.
“We need leaders who will go first, leaders who will serve as an example so that there will be trust in the process, in the manner and in the vaccination program,” Teodoro concluded while emphasizing the importance of the vaccine in the fight against Covid-19 and to achieve the goal of achieving the so-called ‘herd immunity and returning to normalcy as soon as possible. (AI/MTVN)