Pateros Mayor Miguel Ponce III warned that they cannot force the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine on people due to safety and efficacy concerns.
Ponce made the comment in a speech at the inaugural session of the 11th Sangguniang Bayan of Pateros where he said the municipal government will purchase P20 million worth of COVID-19 vaccine for Pateros residents.
“Majority of the local governments in the National Capital Region have placed their orders and we, too, in the Municipality of Pateros have earmarked the amount of P20 million for the purchase of this vaccine but we would like to proceed with caution for several reasons,” he said.
“First, we cannot force this vaccine on our people. We therefore need to know the percentage of our population that needs to be inoculated so as not to waste any vaccine purchase from our own funds,” Ponce said
Ponce added, “Our national government and local governments, particularly in the National Capital Region, have their eyes set on the vaccine that seems to be the only hope to get out of this chain of the pandemic that continuously enslaves us.”
The national government, he said, should be part of the education campaign to raise awareness on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
“I also believe that most people would wait that this vaccine (be) started administering in other people in other parts of this country and see that they are effective and safe before they give their ‘yes’ to this vaccine,” the mayor said.
The Pateros municipal government has started registering people who want to be vaccinated through three methods: submitting online form, QR code, and getting forms from health centers.
He later told Teleradyo radio program that the P20 million budget will target to vaccinate 50,000 out of 80,000 residents.