‘Kailangan kong gawin,’ Mayor Romualdez on getting COVID-19 vaccine

Published March 25, 2021, 4:09 PM

by Dennis Principe

Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez saw a need to jump the line and get inoculated when he learned that even their medical chief was reluctant to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a recent telephone interview via DZRH’s “Dos Por Dos” program, Romualdez said he needed to act on the matter as apart from that, only less than half of their health workers were willing to get vaccinated.

“Pati ‘yung head ng City Health hospital ayaw din kasi nakikinig sa mga paninira ba na ano, mga bali-balita na hindi daw maganda ‘yung vaccine (Even the head of our city health hospital doesn’t want to get the vaccine because of reports that the vaccine is of low quality),” revealed Romualdez who is a COVID survivor.

But after two hours of feeling perfectly fine since getting the Sinovac vaccine, Romualdez said City Health Office (CHO) chief Dr. Gloria Fabregas was eventually convinced to get the COVID-19 jab.

“’Yung chief city health officer ko pinagmamasdan niya ako, pinatanggal nga ‘yung face mask ko gusto tignan ‘yung labi ko baka nagbu-blue na daw (Our chief city health officer wanted me to take off my mask and see if I was turning blue),” said Romualdez.

Initially, only 85 of 160 medical workers of Tacloban City were willing to take the vaccine.

“’Yung iba nga nag-absent pa ngayon. Mas mahirap naman kung 50 percent lang sa medical workers natin ang nagpa-bakuna (Most were absent today. It’s tougher if only 50 percent of our medical workers will get vaccinated),” added Romualdez.

“Kasi sasabihin ng publiko kung mga doktor nga, mga nurse natakot, ano pa kaya kami? Importante ‘yun, creating a perception that it is actually safe (Not just doctors, nurses are scared but also us too? What’s important is creating a perception that it is actually safe).”

Romualdez believes his action swayed their medical workers to get vaccinated as nearly all of them agreed to get inoculated.

He said he is willing to face the investigation being readied by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) which recently released a show cause order to local officials who went ahead of those who are in the priority list.

“Walang problema ‘yun kailangan din imbestigahan nila ‘yung prioritization nila. Kung ano ang inaalok natin sa tao, ‘yan din ang sa mayor at sa public official para walang double standard. (I have no problem with it but they also have to investigate their prioritization so there won’t be any double standard. Whatever they are offering to the public, it should be the same for the mayors and public officials),” said Romualdez.