Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos has appealed to Filipinos on Friday, Aug. 13 not to take a third dose of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, saying that the so-called “booster” shot is “illegal”.
But more importantly, Abalos said those taking a third dose are essentially stripping their countrymen of the opportunity to get even one dose of the life-saving, government-acquired jabs.
“Ngayon binabakunahan po natin ang first and second doses. ‘Wag na ‘wag kayong magpapabakuna ng pangatlo dahil nagkakakulangan na ng bakuna. Uunahin po natin yung first dose at second dose (Right now we’re administering first and second doses. Don’t get a third dose because we’re running short on vaccines. We will prioritize the first and second dose),” he told reporters while inspecting the vaccination process in the municipality of Pateros.
“Kaya ako nagsama ng mga awtoridad ngayon para ma-imbestigahan itong mga nagpapabakuna ng booster dahil bilang patakaran, bawal po ito. Hindi dapat gawin ito. Makunsensya naman kayo, and andaming wala pang bakuna, hirap na hirap na nga tayong magbakuna (The reason why I brought authorities with me today is to investigate those taking a booster because as a rule, it’s illegal. This shouldn’t be done. Have conscience, there are a lot of unvaccinated people, the carrying out vaccinations have been difficult for us),” he said.
“Ito panawagan ko–kulang tayo sa bakuna ngayon. Makunsensya naman kayo, yung iba wala pang bakuna tapos kukuha kayo ng booster? ‘Wag naman ganun. Ang patakaran natin ngayon, first and second dose as far as government is concerned (This is my appeal–we are short on vaccines right now. Have conscience, others are unvaccinated and yet you try to get a booster. Don’t do that. As far as government is concerned, we only do first and second dose),” Abalos reiterated.
The MMDA chief underscored that the available jabs in the country have been acquired by government for the public either through procurement or donation from other other counties via the COVAX facility.
He acknowledged reports on social media of a person who allegedly received two anti-COVID shots in Mandaluyong City and then received a third shot in another local government unit (LGU).
“Siguro ang tanong dito, anong kaso? (The question here is, what would be the charge?)” said Abalos, a lawyer and former mayor of Mandaluyong.
“For one, tignan natin yung form niya. Kasi may form yan kung ilang shots pa, kung first or second. Tinitignan natin, pinapa-imbestigahan natin. Ngayon kung nilagay mo roon na isa ka pa lang, or dalawa, yun pala pangatlo ka na, that’s falsification (We will look at his form. The form says whether one or two shots have been administered. We will have that investigated. Now, if you indicated there that you only had one shot when in fact you’re already seeking a third shot, that’s falsification),” he explained.
“We have to review our forms here and even review our ordinances here…maawa naman kayo (have pity),” Abalos added.
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