MANILA – Police officers can avail of vaccination against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in local government units (LGUs) where they are deployed, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said on Monday.
“Nagbigay na po ng clearance ang ating SILG (Secretary of the Interior and Local Government) Eduardo Año sa ating kapulisan na maaari na silang magpabakuna kung sila ay aalukin ng mga LGU kung saan sila assigned. Nagpapasalamat tayo sa ating SILG sa temporary arrangement na ito habang tayo ay naghihintay ng mga bakunang nakalaan para sa PNP (Our SILG Eduardo Año has already given the clearance to our police and they can now be vaccinated in their LGUs where they are assigned. We thank our SILG for this temporary arrangement as we await the vaccinations available for the PNP),” Eleazar said in a statement.
On Monday, the government officially rolled out the vaccination of the A4 priority sector which includes economic front-liners and uniformed personnel.
Around 15,700 personnel out of the 220,000-strong police force belonging to the A1 (medical front-liners), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 (persons with comorbidities) categories have already been vaccinated.
At present, Eleazar said 87.68 percent of police officers are willing to get anti-Covid-19 shots.
“For the past months kasi, pinagbawal namin sa aming kapulisan na magpaturok kung ikaw ay hindi kasama sa A1, A2 o A3. Tiwala naman tayo na lahat ay makakatanggap ng bakuna kaya walang dapat nag-aapura (For the past months, we warned our police not the get inoculated if they are not included in A1, A2, or A3. We are confident that everyone will receive the vaccine so no one should be in a hurry),” he added.
Once the PNP receives its allocation of Covid-19 vaccines, Eleazar said he would be the first one to get vaccinated to encourage police officers who are either hesitating or do not want to get inoculated at all.
He added that senior police officials should also lead by example and inspire their men to get protection against the virus.
He, however, said police officers will not be forced to get the jabs or penalized for their refusal.
“Tinitiyak ko na walang mangyayaring pilitan pero aasahan po natin sa ating kapulisan na mas magiging matimbang ang pagtulong sa tagumpay ng national vaccination program sa pamamagitan ng pagpapakita sa ating mga kababayan ng kahalagahan ng pagpapabakuna kontra Covid. Maaari silang magsilbing ehemplo na walang dapat pangambahan sa pagpapabakuna (I assure you that no police officer will be forced but we expect our police in helping the national vaccination program succeed by showing our countrymen the importance of vaccination against Covid-19. They can set an example that there is nothing to fear from vaccination),” he said.
As of Sunday, another 102 police officers have recovered from Covid-19, bringing the police force’s recovery count to 23,069.
The PNP also recorded 119 new cases that pushed the active cases tally to 1,812 out of a total of 24,950 cases since the pandemic started in March last year.
Another police officer succumbed to Covid-19, raising the death toll to 69.
The patient, a 49-year-old police officer assigned to the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office, died on June 5.
“I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences of the PNP to the family and colleagues of the 49-year-old police officer assigned in Cagayan de Oro City Police Office who succumbed to Covid-19,” Eleazar said.
The PNP Health Service said the cop experienced shortness of breath and was immediately brought to the nearby hospital by his colleagues on May 30. He was then intubated due to acquired pneumonia, swabbed, and transferred to the isolation unit of the hospital.
On May 31, his swab test yielded a positive result.
On June 3, the patient was extubated as he was improving while undergoing hemoperfusion. On June 4, his oxygen saturation level greatly decreased and he was reintubated. (PNA)