The Department of Health (DOH) said the recent reports of non-healthcare workers being inoculated have already been referred to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The Health department emphasized that because vaccines are limited, “these doses should first be given to our healthcare workers who most need and deserve it.”
“The DOH further reiterates the plea of the President and calls on officials in the government to await their turns and follow the approved prioritization framework being employed by the national government,” the DOH said in a statement on Tuesday, March 23.
“Moreover, as WHO Country Rep Dr. Rabi Abeyasinghe has previously emphasized, all doses must first be administered to the agreed upon priority groups starting with HCWs. Giving the vaccines to non-HCWs when not all HCWs have been vaccinated will jeopardize succeeding doses from COVAX,” added the Health department.
DOH Disease Prevention and Control Bureau head Dr Nikka Hao also issued the same statement in a separate forum.
“The prioritization framework has to be followed. Not doing such will risk us not receiving future supplies, not only from COVAX but even in our other engagements,” she said.
Hao also warned administrators of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination sites against allowing those who jump the line in the prioritization list set by the national government.
“As for our policy, the accountability lies with the head of the institution. That means, the head of the hospital if it is healthcare workers, or the local government units,” said Hao.
“They are to be made accountable for the lapses in the prioritization framework,” she added.
Hao said when they receive such reports, these things are raised in their national and regional vaccine operation centers, and are investigated.