San Juan, Mandaluyong to adhere to DILG, DOH 'brand agnostic' policy

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora and Mandaluyong City Mayor Menchie Abalos both said on Thursday that they will follow the Department of Interior and Local Government's (DILG) and Department of Health's (DOH) new directive to not announce what brands of vaccines will be used in a vaccination site.

This came after huge crowds turned up for limited doses of Pfizer vaccines in Metro Manila early this week, a scenario feared to be a possible superspreader event driven by preference for a particular brand.

"San Juan always follows the vaccination guidelines of the DOH and the IATF. We never announce what brands of vaccines will be used on a particular day," Zamora said in a statement.

"What is important is that the vaccines are approved by the FDA and have emergency use authorization - thus, are safe and effective," he added.

Zamora said that his constituents scheduled for inoculation will know the brand of vaccines on the day of their vaccination as this is indicated in their vaccine card.

"If they are not comfortable with that particular brand, they can opt not to get vaccinated. To increase the number of vaccinees, we educate and inform our constituents about the facts regarding the vaccines." Zamora said.

The mayor added that the vaccination is purely voluntary and that they will not force their constituents to get inoculated, more so with a brand that they do not like.

Mayor Abalos said the city government informs the vaccinee prior to his/her vaccination about what brand of vaccine will be used.

"For Mandaluyong, all vaccinees are pre-registered and are informed ahead of time regarding the brand of vaccine they will receive including the time and site through our call center,” Abalos said in a Viber message to Manila Bulletin.

In case the vaccinee is not comfortable with the brand available, Abalos said that he/she may wait for their preferred brand to become available and when they can get the jab.