A couple of days ago, we, along with the other heads of cities and municipalities, were directed by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to stop announcing the brand of vaccine slated for deployment in certain vaccination sites.
There is no doubt that we in the city of Manila will follow the recently-issued policy to keep in sync with the national government authorities.
However, we would also like to ensure that the rights of the people to choose the brand they want will still be respected, along with the decision on whether to get vaccinated or not.
I see the need to balance the situation, by continuously respecting the people’s right to choose the vaccine that will be injected into their very own bodies while at the same time, upholding government policy.
This is why I advised our constituency that while the government disallows the announcement of brands to be given ahead of a vaccination day, it was never stated that the people cannot ask the brand that is being given in a certain vaccination site.
Once they learn about the brand being deployed in the very site where they went to, the people concerned can then decide whether to take the jab or transfer to another site giving another brand and which may be their actual choice, although this is a bit hassle or may inconvenience on their part.
It was also never stated that the vaccination of the non-preferred brand is compulsory or that one is obliged to get jabbed whether or not he wants the brand being deployed in the site where he lined up.
While we will no longer post the brand of vaccines up for deployment, we will definitely allow those interested to inquire at the site.
I definitely believe it is the right of the people to choose the kind of vaccine they are getting and this, for me, has to be respected to the fullest.
I would no want to deny our residents the right to information because it is their basic right, since it is their own body and health that are concerned here.
Trying to place myself in their shoes, the residents must be allowed to know and decide which vaccine they want to take.
It is important that you have the full confidence and peace of mind that the vaccine you are getting is what you really want for your added protection. But that’s just me.
Speaking of vaccination, I again would like to thank and praise our selfless vaccinating teams led by Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and Manila Health Department chief Dr. Arnold Pangan. This, after the city government once again broke its own record by being able to vaccinate 16,261 individuals in just one day.
Also over the weekend, an NCR Overall Summary report of the Regional Vaccination Operations Center showed Manila having the highest number of first dose vaccinees, at a total of 188,146 individuals, among other cities in the metro.
With the total number of persons jabbed in the NCR with first dose recorded at 979,136 or around 7.28 percent of the country’s total population, we are proud that Manila accounts for nearly 20 percent of the said total number of individuals vaccinated in the whole country so far.
I am both happy and proud that our City Hall officials and employees never complain even if I make them work on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, for a total of 14 hours just to be able to vaccinate as many as possible. In fact, they are happy to do that.
Whenever the supply of vaccines allow, we open, at the very least, 18 vaccination sites from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. so as to accommodate as many as possible.
To the doctors, nurses, encoders, vaccinators and other people involved in the city of Manila’s vaccination program, carry on. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all and you truly are a source of pride and inspiration for all city workers and Manilans.
Gaya ng paulit-ulit kong sinasabi, kailangan ko ang tulong ninyong lahat. Walang magmamalasakit sa Maynila kundi tayo ding mga Batang Maynila. Manila, God first! ***
For updates on latest developments in the city of Manila, please visit my Facebook account— ‘Isko Moreno Domagoso.’