As the national government starts the roll-out of vaccination for essential workers and poor Filipinos, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar advised policemen to take advantage of the free vaccines that would be offered to them by their respective Local Government Units (LGUs).
While the Department of Health has vaccine allocations for the PNP, most of the LGUs also set aside vaccines for PNP personnel who are included in the A1, A2 and A3 priority list.
Eleazar, however, warned policemen during the first roll-out of vaccine in March 1 not to skip the priority list and follow the protocol of the government on vaccination.
“Our Secretary of the Interior and Local Government (SILG) has already given clearance that our personnel could be vaccinated if they are offered by their respective LGUs,” said Eleazar.
Eleazar, who disclosed that he is not yet vaccinated since he does not fall in the first three priority lists, said they are now waiting for the vaccines that would be given by the DOH to the PNP.
Once the PNP receives its allocated doses of COVID-19 vaccine, Eleazar said he would be the first one to get vaccinated to encourage the remaining 12 percent of the police force to get inoculated. He added that senior police officials should also lead by example and inspire their men to get protection against the virus.
But he said the PNP would not force vaccination on nor penalize policemen who are not willing to get COVID-19 shots.
Vaccines for the police force are expected to be avaiable in the coming weeks. So far, around 15,700 out of the 220,000-strong police force are already vaccinated. These were personnel who belong to the A1, A2, and A3 priority groups.