TACLOBAN CITY – The mayor of Barugo, Leyte also received the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines amid talks that some local officials have jumped lines to get the Covid-19 jab, the local government confirmed on Friday.
In its official social media account, the local government of Barugo announced that Mayor Ma. Rosario Avestruz was inoculated last March 23 during the vaccination drive at the municipal compound.
The town has an allocation of 120 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from the Department of Health (DOH) for the two-day vaccination drive for local public and private health workers.
When reached for comment, Avestruz said the refusal of some health workers to receive the vaccine and failure to pass the screening prompted her to get the vaccine.
“We had 31 health workers who are supposed to be inoculated on the second day, but only 10 decided to get the vaccines. It’s on our list,” Avestruz said in a phone interview.
She said the local government was only informed of the schedule of immunization on March 20.
The local task force held a meeting the next day to identify names on the priority list. They also prepared names for the quick substitution list (QSL).
Due to limited time and the need to readily inoculate the vaccine, the local government has listed only those who are willing and readily available persons to compose the QSL.
Although she was included in the QSL, Avestruz said she was the last to be inoculated.
“Actually, my name was first removed from the list, but then it was included on the second day of the vaccination when it was the turn for our barangay health workers to get the vaccine. I did not jump in the line,” she added.
“We cannot just throw the vaccines away or return them to DOH just because some of those who are on the list did not show up during the vaccination,” she added.
The mayor said she submitted an explanation to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Leyte provincial office, informing the agency of the local situation.
“I submitted pre and post-activity reports, even without receiving a show cause order to inform them that I have received the shot,” she said.
“My only mistake was I wanted to help the national government on the campaign for Covid-19 vaccination. I have my own reason and I hope this reason will suffice,” she added.
Avestruz is the second mayor in Leyte who publicly admitted receiving the Covid-19 vaccination. Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez earlier announced that he got the Sinovac vaccine.
His admission prompted the DILG to issue a show cause order against him and other mayors to explain why they were inoculated despite their exclusion from the priority list. (PNA)