President Duterte orders investigation of actor jumping the priority line and getting vaccinated

President Duterte orders investigation of actor jumping the priority line and getting vaccinated

- President Rodrigo Duterte orders the investigation on reports of an actor jumping the priority list and getting vaccinated

- The President did not mention any names but said it happened in Parañaque and that the said actor is the child of another actor

- Duterte said that while the matter is trivial in ordinary times, vaccine donations come with conditions that calls for the prioritization of health workers

- Recently, Mark Anthony Fernandez announced that he got inoculated with a COVID vaccine in Parañaque

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Actor Mark Anthony Fernandez might find himself in hot water after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Health Secretary Francisco Duque to investigate reports of an actor jumping the priority line and getting vaccinated with COVID vaccine.

President Duterte orders investigation of actor jumping the priority line and get vaccinated
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech as he witnesses the arrival of a shipment of Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 vaccines.(Photo by Ezra Acayan)
Source: Getty Images

While the President did not identify the actor, he hinted that the said actor is the child of another actor and that the deed happened in Parañaque.

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“It happened sa Parañaque. This is a child of an actor. It’s up to you to investigate this,” President Duterte told DOH Sec. Duque in a pre-recorded briefing Wednesday night.

Recently, Mark Anthony received in Parañaque his first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine despite not being on the priority list. He is the son of actress-turned-politician Alma Moreno and late actor Rudy Fernandez.

Mayor Edwin Olivarez of Parañaque justified the vaccination of the actor saying he was a priority due to Mark Anthony’s comorbidities like hypertension and depression.

According to PRRD, the incident could put in danger the country’s allocated vaccines from the COVAX facility of the World Health Organization.

“I understand fully the psyche of a Filipino. ‘Come here. Cut the line here.’ That’s it. That’s the Filipino style. The problem here is that we’re still in the first group [of health workers], [and] everyone else — in the entire Philippines — they number about 1.7 million,” the President said.

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He added that while the issue is trivial during ordinary times, the country is under an extraordinary situation and the donors attached conditions to the vaccine donations, which the donee, in this case the Philippines, must follow.

The President then revealed what the WHO’s country representative told him: “If you do not follow the list of priority, you might lose the assistance of the WHO.”

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To ensure the fair allocation of the donated COVID-19 vaccine, the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group, which is a team of health experts advising the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, created the so-called COVID vaccine Priority List. According to this list, frontline workers in national and local health facilities, whether public or private, must get the vaccines first. These include health professionals and non-professionals like students, nursing aides, barangay health workers, and janitors working in those facilities. Second in line are senior citizens who are 60 years old and above.

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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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