Villanueva: Make COVID-19 vaccines available to private health workers, too

Published March 2, 2021, 6:31 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The government should not  be choosing who among the country’s health workers should be prioritized in the inoculations against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Senator Joel Villanueva said on Tuesday, March 2.

Senator Joel Villanueva

“If the virus doesn’t choose its victims, then why should we choose who among the hospital workers should get the vaccine first? Private or public, basta nanggagamot ng Pilipino, at may supply, bigyan (Whether they are public or private hospitals, as long as they treat Filipinos, and there is supply, then we should given them the vaccines),” Villanueva said in a statement.

“If there’s left from the allocation of public health workers because many of them aren’t taking it, then give the surplus to those who are willing to receive it,” he added.

Villanueva made the comments after National Task Force against COVID-19 and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. disclosed on Monday that the St. Luke’s Medical Center has asked the government for an allocation of vaccines from Sinovac for its 5,000 workers.

Galvez said there will be a “mini rollout” of the vaccinations in the hospital’s two branches.

In appealing for the grant of vaccines to private health workers, Villanueva stressed that the government should avoid the “spoilage of a precious and scarce commodity”.

“Why deny it to vaccination volunteers simply because they are not in government employ? Iturok ang mga ito sa mga tatanggap. Ang bakuna po ay mahalaga, huwag i-aksaya (Vaccines are important, let’s not waste them),” he added.

Villanueva earlier called on the government to augment the country’s vaccine supply and allow health workers to choose which vaccines they want to receive.