REGARDLESS of the brand of vaccine, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar and other police generals will literally get the ‘jab done’ today, Tuesday as the PNP starts the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination for its personnel under the A-4 category.
The top cop will be joined by his Command Group, PNP Deputy Chief for Administration, Lieutenant Gen. Joselito M. Vera Cruz; PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lt. Gen. Israel Ephraim T. Dickson and PNP The Chief Directorial Staff, Lt. Gen. Dionardo B. Carlos in receiving the first dose of the vaccine donated to the Duterte government.
Gen. Eleazar said they are the first to be inoculated as part of their information campaign for the more than 220,000 personnel of the PNP that the vaccination is a responsibility of every citizen and that all vaccine brands are safe.
The PNP chief last week said a survey showed the number of PNP personnel who want to be vaccinated has risen to 92.23 percent.
“HIndi kami mamimili kung anong brand ng COVID-19 vaccine ang ituturok sa amin. We subscribe to the findings of health experts that all vaccine brands are safe and effective kaya we will take advantage of this free vaccination regardless of the brand,” said Gen. Eleazar.
The PNP chief explained that aggressive information dissemination has been proven effective in convincing PNP personnel to be vaccinated.
When Gen. Eleazar was still the commander of the PNP’s Administrative Support on COVID-19 Task Force (ASCOTF), the first survey he initiated revealed that only around 51 percent of PNP personnel wanted to be vaccinated in February this year.
As the PNP-ASCOTF started posting fact sheets and videos from the Department of Health about the benefits of being vaccinated against the COVID-19 using the PNP-COVID Data (CODA) which is accessible to all PNP personnel, the figure continuously increased on a daily basis.
As of June 10, a total of 92.23 percent of the entire police force have expressed willingness to be vaccinated.
So far, the PNP is yet to receive another batch of COVID-19 vaccines that would be used for its personnel under the A4 list.
However, Gen. Eleazar said that the PNP has always been ready to start the inoculation, citing the proper and orderly vaccination during the first roll-out in March this year.
“Hinihintay pa namin yung vaccine allocation namin but I have already instructed all PNP personnel to take advantage of the COVID vaccines that would be offered to them by their respective LGUs (Local Government Units). This arrangement was already approved by our DILG Secretary Eduardo M Año,” the PNP chief said.
Based on latest PNP data, more than 17,000 policemen have already been vaccinated, with over 11,000 them having already completed the vaccination while the rest are just waiting for the schedule of their second dose.
To date, there are already a total of 71 policemen who have passed away after contracting the dreaded COVID-19 virus since March last year.
The PNP Health Service headed by Brigadier Gen. Luisito P. Magnaye is also monitoring more than 1,800 ‘active cases’ to date.
The number of police personnel who have contracted the virus but have fully recovered from the disease since last year and are now back to full duty status has been pegged at nearly 24,000. Since last year up to Monday, there are a total of 25,866 PNP personnel who have contracted the virus.
Gen. Eleazar has assured the 100 percent readiness of the force to ensure a smooth and fast-paced COVID-19 vaccine rollout across the country this month.
According to the top cop, all PNP personnel and resources are already 100 percent ready for the nationwide COVID-19 vaccine rollout with all concerned police units and offices closely coordinating with Local Government Units in their respective areas for the massive vaccination program aimed at coming up with a herd immunity which is vital in fighting the dreaded COVID-19 virus.
“Ito ay matagal na nating napaghandaan bilang tugon ng PNP sa national vaccination program. Inatasan na natin ang lahat ng mga local police commanders na makipag-ugnayan sa ating mga LGUs para agad matugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng mga lokal na pamahalaan, ito man ay sa seguridad o sa manpower na magtuturok ng COVID-19 vaccine sa ating mga kababayan,” Gen. Eleazar said.
The PNP leadership is also expecting that all their members will get the vaccine shot very soon as they continue to be one of the government frontliners in the effort to help further reduce virus transmission in the country.
Getting the jab is a must and will provide each and every police personnel the protection he/she needs while at work daily in the force which has already recorded 70 COVID-19 deaths
As of yesterday, the number of PNP uniformed and non-uniformed personnel who have already gotten the jab was pegged at only over 17,000 or roughly eight percent of the 210,000-strong police force.
This is because majority of the members of the PNP who have been serving as ‘frontliners’ in the government’s effort to control the further spread of the killer virus were not considered as priorities in the vaccination program.
With the initial limited supply, frontline health workers and uniformed personnel were prioritized since they have higher risk of exposure while on duty and to allow them to continue fulfilling their duties in the public and private sectors.
However, it doesn’t mean that all members of the police force would automatically get the vaccine. To date, only members of the PNP medical staff, those with comorbidities and senior citizens from the Non-Uniformed Personnel rank have been inoculated.
Gen. Eleazar said they are fully complying with the directive from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Department of Interior and Local Government when it comes to getting the vaccine.
The PNP chief last week said that even he has not gotten the jab. “All of my eight siblings and their spouses have already been vaccinated except me, the Chief, PNP,” he told the Journal Group.
Since the government’s COVID-19 immunization drive began in March, only people categorized under the A1 to A3 priority groups were eligible for the vaccine. They include health frontline workers, mayors and governors, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities.
This month, mass vaccinations for economic frontline workers or those under the A4 category will begin, but the national government narrowed down the initial priority list to those who work outside their residences or are government workers including members of the police force.
The A4 vaccinations will also start in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao, collectively known as “NCR Plus 8.”