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Pinoys may refuse jab on site, Palace clarifies amid brand agnostic policy

By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: ABS-CBN News

Filipinos still have the freedom to refuse coronavirus vaccination if they prefer other vaccine brands, Malacañang clarified Friday.

In a press briefing aired on PTV-4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the clarification amid criticisms on the recent order that the COVID-19 vaccine brands will not be disclosed in advance to avoid crowding in vaccination sites.

“Bagaman hindi ia-anunsyo ng LGU ang vaccine brand, sasabihin sa mga mababakunahan ang vaccine brand habang nasa vaccination center,” he said.

“Hindi ililihim sa mababakunahan ang bakunang ibibigay sa kanya. Karapatan niyo pong malaman at tanggihan ito,” Roque added.

His statement came after netizens were concerned over the non-disclosure of vaccine brands by saying it will only violate the informed consent right of the people.

However, Roque reiterated that all jabs delivered in the country are equally effective and that the public should not be hesitant to get a shot.

“Nirerespeto po namin ang karapatan ng bawat isa na pumili ng brand na nais nila ngunit tandaan natin na ang coronavirus… ay walang pinipiling tao o panahon. Lalo na ang pagdating ng mga bagong variant gaya nung mas nakakahawa at mas nakakamatay na Indian variant,” he said.

“Mas mahalagang magkaroon na po ng proteksyon. Now na. ‘Wag na natin itong ipagpabukas. Kung kayo ay tinext o tinawagan na pwede na kayong magpabakuna, ‘wag niyo po itong ipag-ibang araw,” he added.

He concluded that getting inoculated against COVID-19 is one of the citizen’s duties for the country.

“Magpabakuna na po tayo. Tungkulin nating protektahan ang ating mga sarili, ang ating pamilya, at ang ating buong bansa,” the Palace official said.

As of Friday, May 21, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 1,171,403 total COVID-19 infections, 1,096,109 recoveries, 19,763 deaths including 55,531 active cases.

Meanwhile, as of May 18, 3,299,470 individuals have already been inoculated against the infectious disease.


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