Vice President Leni Robredo will fall under the A3 category (persons with comorbidities) in the government’s priority list for COVID-19 vaccination, but she chose not to register to give way to those who need the vaccine more.
The vice president said over dzXL that she’s eligible to get inoculated in Quezon City as a resident and its local government has already started to vaccinate its people with comorbidities.
“Pasok ako doon kasi hypertensive ako eh. Pero alam ko kasing kakaunti pa lang iyong bakuna. Alam kong kakaunti pa lang iyong bakuna, kaya hindi muna ako nag-register; doon na lang ako kapag marami nang dumating (I am eligible for that because I’m hypertensive. But I know there’s only a few vaccines available. I know the vaccines available aren’t enough, so I did not register for now. I will register when there are more doses),” Robredo shared.
But the lady official also lamented reports from the local government units (LGUs) of people not wanting to be inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine despite the surge in cases in the past month.
“Kailangan mag-exert tayo ng effort na yayain iyong tao na magpabakuna, kasi hindi natin mari-reach iyong herd immunity, tatagal pa tayo sa ganitong sitwasyon kapag hindi natin naabutan iyong herd immunity (We need to exert an effort to invite people to get the vaccine because we will not reach herd immunity. We’re going to be in this situation for a long time if we don’t reach herd immunity),” she said.
Herd immunity happens when the virus can’t spread in a community because it keeps on encountering people who are protected against the virus. It is estimated that the Philippines needs to inoculate some 75 percent to 80 percent of the population before herd immunity can be achieved.
“Kasi kakaunti na lang nga iyong vaccines available, ayaw pa ng tao (There are few vaccines available yet the people don’t even want them),” Robredo added.
On March 29, Philippines welcomed the arrival of one million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine, the first batch that the government procured.
The government has inoculated health care workers with the 1.5 million jabs it received as donation from Sinovac and from AstraZeneca through the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX facility.
Earlier, the Palace was asked if it’s possible to inoculate Robredo with the vaccine, but Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said it will be up to the Department of Health (DOH) to decide on the prioritization of government officials.