League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) President Chavit Singson would rather take the safest path of the government’s vaccination program for the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19)—Observe first, be vaccinated later.
And Singson, the incumbent mayor of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, said it should be Health Secretary Francisco Duque, Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez and the rest of the Cabinet secretaries who should be inoculated first in public to set an example that the vaccine that the government has procured for the Filipino people is indeed safe.
“We have not prepared yet but we are also excited. But the best way is to have Secretary Duque be vaccinated first. We will observe first. If it is safe, then we will follow, there’s no problem,” said Singson when asked on Thursday, Feb. 11, over Teleradyo if he had already made vaccination preparations for his constituents.
For Singson, it is the likes of Duque and the rest in the medical profession who should take the lead in order to remove the doubt among the people regarding the safety of the vaccines that are expected to be rolled out this month.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Filipino people have started to doubt the government’s vaccination programs in other diseases like polio and measles as a result of the politicization of the anti-dengue vaccine.
The trust and confidence in the vaccination program for COVID further eroded when the government initially insisted on having a Chinese-made vaccine amid reports of its side effects.
“They are the leaders, they know better because they are doctors. So it should be them who should be first vaccinated, they should not take us as an example. It is a wait and see for us. We will see first which of the vaccines is more effective before we get it,” said Singson.
“We are not afraid, but they should take the lead as national leaders. If it is safe, then I will take the lead in the vaccination (in my town) so that everybody (his constituents” would follow,” he added.
The government is planning to vaccinate 50 to 70 million Filipinos before the end of the year. This month, more than 50,000 Filipinos are expected to be vaccinated with the arrival of some 117,000 doses of vaccines, the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccines.