TACLOBAN CITY – Mayor Alfred Romualdez said he is willing to face the consequences of receiving the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine intended for the city’s health workers.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Romualdez said he decided to get inoculated with Covid-19 shot to erase Tacloban residents’ concerns on the efficacy and safety of the Chinese vaccine Sinovac.
“Never say that I did it to save myself before others. If I can convince thousands, I would do it. I am willing to face the consequence, but I am happy that our medical front liners are now getting the vaccines,” Romualdez told reporters.
“Because everyone was scared and everyone was waiting for me. So I did it to lead my people out of fear and I’m glad they responded positively,” he said.
Romualdez, who got infected with the virus last December, has been criticized by netizens for receiving the Covid-19 vaccine even if he’s not included in the priority list in the first phase of vaccine rollout. The mayor also posted a photo of him receiving the vaccine.
On Tuesday, Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Epimaco Densing said his office is preparing a show cause order against Romualdez to explain why he availed of Sinovac shot intended for health care workers in his city.
The official was vaccinated Monday after passing the screening and assessment conducted by city health officer Gloria Fabrigas.
The mayor received the Sinovac vaccine at his residence as administered by a Department of Health nurse deployed at the city health office.
The city government received 3,164 doses of vaccines for private and government front-liners.
About 50 people on the priority list refused to get the shot, according to the mayor.
“There was an excess of vaccine supply since other medical workers refused to get the vaccines. We don’t want to return these vaccines to Metro Manila. Imagine the trouble of bringing it here and bringing it back,” he said.
Along with the city mayor, around 800 private and public health workers, including frontline government personnel got the first dose on Monday.
These medical workers are assigned to dialysis centers, medical and dental clinics, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, city rescue unit, barangay health emergency response teams, city’s frontline health workers, personnel assigned in temporary treatment and monitoring facilities, public safety office, and city disaster risk reduction and management office, among others.
As of March 23, the city has recorded 2,096 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including 68 active cases, 1,976 recoveries, and 52 deaths. (PNA)