Military, police fifth on priority list but Duterte says they should get vaccine first

 By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

PHOTO: Manila Bulletin/PCOO

Contrary to the government’s prioritization scheme of vaccine recipients, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night clarified that it is the State forces who will first get inoculated with a vaccine against COVID-19.

In defense to the inoculation of several top government officials and close-in security, President Duterte in his weekly public address said the military and police officers is first on the line to get a vaccine to as they make things under control.

"Kung totoo man itong sa PSG, hindi ito para sa inyo... even if talagang nauna, mauna talaga ang military. Ang military at pulis ang mauna dahil kapag mawalan tayo ng pulis at military, out of control ang bayan," he said.

"Hindi ito para sa inyo na kung magyawyaw kayo na akala ko ba kami mauuna," he added, which implies that the vaccine to be rolled out will come from negotiation of vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.

Firm on their stance, MalacaƱang earlier believes that the smuggled coronavirus vaccines taken by members of President Duterte's security detail ahead of other listed beneficiaries are a closed issue that Filipinos should simply move on from.

The vaccines that were taken, however, has not yet been given regulatory approval by the country's  Food and Drug Administration before they can be rolled out

In a list of priorities released by the Department of Health, as soon as a COVID-19 vaccine is approved and made available to the country, healthcare workers will be the first to get COVID-19 vaccines.

Uniformed personnel are supposed to be fifth in line among other groups prioritized for vaccination, following health workers, senior citizens, indigent senior citizens, and the rest of the indigent population.

Lawmakers and government agencies under Duterte himself want to probe the PSG because their use of an unregistered COVID-19 vaccine may have violated laws, particularly the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009 which is meant to protect Filipinos from unsafe vaccines.

Agencies in the executive branch, including the Department of Justice, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and military had already announced they would investigate the PSG's vaccination.


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