'Not only in Makati': Sotto wants sanctions vs vaccinators bungling COVID-19 jabs

Published June 29, 2021, 1:39 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Tuesday, June 29, called on the government’s pandemic task force to impose sanctions on health workers and other vaccinators involved in the misadministration of coronavirus vaccines to the public, which he said, also happens in Quezon City and “all over” the country.

A Manila resident looks away as he gets his first dose of the Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine during an inoculation in Tondo on June 20, 2021. (Ali Vicoy/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Sotto issued the appeal following a viral video showing a health worker failing to inject a dose of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine to a resident in Makati City.

While authorities dismissed this as an “isolated case” and a “human error” that has been “immediately corrected”, the Senate leader said he has received similar reports of botched vaccinations in other localities.

“There are similar complaints from others in other LGUs (local government units). The IATF (Interagency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) should investigate and exercise sanctions,” Sotto said in a text message to reporters.

“It’s not only in Makati. It’s all over,” he later added.

Sotto disclosed that there have been complaints of the same vaccination practice in Quezon City.

“I already told [the] Vice Mayor to investigate,” he told the Manila Bulletin, referring to Quezon City Vice Mayor Gian Sotto, who is his son.

Senator Risa Hontiveros also said she was “very concerned” that some vaccine recipients may not have been receiving their proper coronavirus shots.

“At this rate, we are not even doing the recommended 500,000 vaccinations a day,” she lamented.

But she noted the physical and emotional exhaustion among health care workers amid the fight against the COVID-19.

“The DOH (Department of Health) and LGUs must double their efforts to mobilize more vaccinators to reduce the burden on HCWs. Dapat hindi sila nabu-burnout (They shouldn’t be experiencing burnonuts),” Hontiveros said in a separate message.

“We have been sounding a wake up call on improving the situation of our healthcare workers for more than a year now to enable us to attract and hire more to meet the demand. Kailangan ng ating HCWs ng tamang sahod, sapat na pahinga, bakuna, immune boosters at sapat na PPEs (Our health care workers need proper salaries, enough rest, vaccines and immunity boosters, and personal protective equipment),” she added.

“Hindi lang kalusugan nila ang nakataya, kundi ang kakayahan nilang patuloy na maglingkod sa kapwa (It’s not only their health at stake here, but also their capacity to continuously serve the people),” Hontiveros pointed out.

The Department of Health (DOH) said Monday, June 28, that it has started investigating the “breach of vaccination protocol” in Makati City. It also reminded vaccinators to pay “extra” attention during inoculations.

Makati Mayor Abigail Binay, meanwhile, appealed for mercy and understanding for the volunteer nurse involved in the viral video.