Senator Richard Gordon, in an interview on Super Radyo Balita heard nationwide, has called on government authorities to stop early vaccination of some VIPs, saying the covert inoculation was wrong.
Surged that the alleged early vaccination of some VIPs in the country would have to stop.
Gordon said he was amenable to the decision of Senate President Vicente Sotto III not to invite in the upcoming hearing the Presidential Security Group — reported to be the first to receive COVID-19 vaccines in the country even without approval by the Food and Drug Administration.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said the smuggling of COVID-19 vaccines could result in another “Dengvaxia scare” if adverse reactions from unregistered vaccines arose.
Building up public confidence on the government’s immunization program against the novel disease would be crucial, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said.
Citing that only 25 percent of NCR respondents topped a survey willing to receive COVID-19 shots, Drilon urged the government to address the issue of “high vaccine hesitancy.”
“The reluctance to participate in COVID-19 immunization program, if not immediately addressed, will spell trouble in the future and can jeopardize efforts to contain the pandemic,” he said.
“We must overcome this growing distrust and hesitancy. We can achieve this by being transparent and by providing Filipinos proper information on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines that we will use in the country,” he added.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the Presidential Security Group would have to submit monthly reports on its personnel that have been vaccinated against COVID-19, adding what the Group did was dangerous.
Duque said PSG Commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III had agreed to turn over a list of the personnel who received the vaccine and adopt a “monitoring system for adverse events following immunization.” Reports will have to be submitted “on a monthly basis.”
The health chief maintained he “never knew anything about the activities of the PSG” with regard to the vaccination, but he stressed that this was dangerous.
Durante earlier said “a handful” of PSG personnel vaccinated themselves with a drug he did not name. He said inoculations began in September and the last batch was finished in October.
President Rodrigo Duterte was unaware that his guards received the vaccine until after it was done, according to Durante.
After President Duterte disclosed that some members of the military already had COVID-19 shots that had no prior approval of the Food and Drug Administration, the Armed Forces confirmed that PSG members were indeed vaccinated against coronavirus.
Earlier, the PSG justified the covert immunization procedure citing the nature of its personnel’s duty to protect the President.
Durante took full responsibility for the inoculation move, and also argued that the PSG used a donated vaccine. He refused to name the source of the shots.