Baguio vaccine priority breach ordered probed

John Unson, Artemio Dumlao (The Philippine Star) - March 30, 2021 - 12:00am

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — An investigation has been ordered into the reported violation of the COVID vaccine priority rule by some officials of the Saint Louis University (SLU) in this city.

“I will launch an investigation starting tomorrow,” Baguio City Mayor Benjamin said on Sunday night after learning that some SLU executives including its president reportedly jumped the line to avail themselves of the vaccine ahead of people in the priority list.

The report came out after Fr. Macwayne Mangiwang, SLU parish priest, admitted on March 9 that he had received his first dose of the Sinovac shot.

Personnel of the SLU hospital and clinic who received their first dose of the vaccine, being among the priority sectors, confirmed that their superiors also got inoculated along with them.

Magalong said he ordered city health services office chief Rowena Galpo to investigate the incident.

Cordillera regional health office chief Ruby Constantino said they have not received any report about the incident.

Constantino said the health department recently issued a memorandum clarifying the vaccine priority list.

“When someone who is not in the priority list gets vaccinated, a report must be submitted to us so we can verify the report and inform the concerned local government unit to explain and justify the incident,” Constantino said.

“The Department of Health is strict in following the priority list, especially for AstraZeneca because we have to strictly abide by an agreement signed with COVAX. Any line jumping will affect the succeeding vaccine allocation from the COVAX,” she added.

Marawi mayor catches COVID

Meanwhile, Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra has confirmed that he tested positive for COVID.

In a message issued on Sunday, Gandamra told his constituents that despite being careful and observing the minimum health protocols, he contacted the virus.

Gandamra appealed to people who had close contact with him before he underwent swab test on Sunday to go on quarantine and monitor their health.

City officials and employees were advised to cooperate in running the affairs of the city government while Gandamra is on quarantine.

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