- Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez was recently inoculated with the COVID vaccine
- The name of Mayor Romualdez was not on the priority list of those supposed to get the vaccine first
- The mayor did not deny getting the vaccine but said he did it so people would see it was okay to receive the vaccine
- Romualdez initially said that he received the first dose in his home but the city PIO later clarified the inoculation occurred at the Tacloban City Astrodome
Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez believed it was okay for him to get vaccinated even if he was not on the priority list as he is doing it for the greater good of the country.
A CNN report stated that the mayor is not a healthcare worker and his name is not on the priority list of those supposed to get vaccinated first.
A photo of him without a mask or face shield receiving Sinovac’s anti-COVID vaccine recently surfaced on the Internet.
Mayor Romualdez, who is the cousin of former senator and VP candidate Bongbong Marcos, did not deny the photo of him receiving the vaccine. According to a report by ABS-CBN, he is the country's first local chief executive to get the vaccine.
In a press briefing today, the mayor said he did not opt to get the vaccine in order to save himself before others.
“I did it to make the people see that it was okay to get the vaccine. I wanted our people to take it for protection, and so that the efforts of the national government will not be in vain,” Mayor Romualdez said.
The mayor revealed he received his first dose at home from a DOH nurse deployed by City Health Office. The city’s Public Information Office, however, later clarified that the inoculation of the mayor occurred at the Tacloban City Astrodome.
A report by the Inquirer also quoted the local chief executive saying that being the mayor, he should also be considered a frontline worker and thus, deserved the vaccine.
The government is still coping with the inoculation of the approximately 1.7 million healthcare workers in the country.
The DOH said the available supply of doses is limited, which is why they are prioritizing medical personnel and healthcare workers before inoculating other priority sectors.
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Mayor Romualdez has announced on December 10 of last year that he got infected with the coronavirus disease. Medical experts have advised those who were infected to wait at least three months after doctors declare they are clinically recovered before getting vaccinated. Scientific evidence show that reinfection is unlikely to happen 90 days after a patient’s initial infection.
In January, President Rodrigo Duterte declared that government officials, including him, will be the last priority for the COVID-19 vaccination. He stated that the frontline workers and those from the vulnerable sectors will be prioritized. The president also defended the decision of the government to use Chinese-made vaccines. According to him, these vaccines are as effective as those produced by other companies.
After weeks of waiting, the first batch of Sinovac anti-COVID vaccines arrived in the Philippines. On March 1, a nurse from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) delivered the first COVID-19 vaccination in the country. Dr. Gerardo Legaspi, the PGH Director, became the first person in the Philippines to publicly receive the injection. National and local government officials were present to witness the historic event. During the inoculation, it was announced that a vial of Sinovac Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine is good for one dose.
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