Mayor Tiangco, who didn’t like Sinovac, gets the jab

Published April 12, 2021, 2:58 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco, who initially objected to getting the Sinovac vaccine, finally received his first dose of the Chinese vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Monday.

(Mayor Toby Tiangco/ MANILA BULLETIN

“Certified NavoBakunado na rin po tayo! (We’re now a certified vaccinated Navotas resident)” Tiangco said in a Facebook post after getting vaccinated at San Jose Academy.

As of Monday, the mayor said a total of 3,618 residents under priority groups are already inoculated with Sinovac’s CoronaVac and AstraZeneca.

“Malaki po ang maitutulong ng pagpapabakuna para matapos na ang pandemya, at mapaangat na natin ang ating buhay at kabuhayan (Getting vaccinated will really help in ending the pandemic and lifting our lives and livelihoods from the crisis),” he said.

On April 5, Tiangco said he would take the Chinese Sinovac vaccine “with a heavy heart” not because of its “medical efficacy” but because of the Philippines’ issue with China on the West Philippine Sea.

“I don’t know if it’s a wrong sense of patriotism. It could be wrong, ‘yung issue kasi doon sa (but the issue on) West Philippine Sea… parang papasukin namin ‘yung West Philippine Sea, hindi naman kayo makaka-angal kasi nagbibigay kami ng bakuna eh (For me it’s like they could occupy the West Philippine Sea since we could not object because they’re giving us vaccines),” he said in a recent ANC interview.

“Kung umangal kayo, e di ihinto namin ‘yung bakuna. Parang ganoon lang ‘yung dating sakin eh (If you object to our presence on the West Philippine Sea, then we might stop supplying you with the vaccine. That’s how I perceive it),” he added.

Tiangco admitted that he felt “prostituted about” getting it, although he still “proceeded” with it to show his constituents that the vaccine is safe.

In January, the mayor also said he feared getting the Sinovac vaccine although he did not give any explanation about it and maintained that people can choose the COVID-19 vaccine brand that they would like to get.