MANILA and Navotas city mayors Isko Moreno and Toby Tiangco yesterday said they will not keep secret the brands of vaccines at inoculation sites and will continue respecting the right of the people to choose the vaccine they want to get.
Moreno said that the city will no longer announce the brands that will be given in certain vaccination sites pursuant to government decision, but said he is giving a tip to the residents that they can inquire about the brand being given in a particular vaccination site once they are there.
“Di kayo pinagbabawalang pumili ng bakuna sa Maynila sapagkat ako po ay naniniwala, ito naman ay personal kong paniniwala—karapatan ng tao na makapamili ng brand na gusto nya sapagkat katawan nya ‘yun. Katawan mo ‘yan eh. Karapatan moong pangalagaan na ang ituturok sa ‘yo ay kung saan ka panatag at naniniwala,” the mayor said.
For his part, Tiangco said it is the right of the person to know what vaccine will be administered to him. “Vaccination is purely voluntary and cannot be forced upon a person. Pushing for ‘brand agnostic’ vaccination will just create distrust,” Mayor Tiangco said in his statement.
“Moreover, there is no such thing as ‘secret’. Vaccines have to be prepared; we cannot ensure that information on this will not get leaked. Once people learn of the brand, they will just throng to the vaccination site. This will most likely result to chaos and expose the vaccinees to the virus,” the mayor added
Mayor Tiangco believed that managing the vaccine roll out is the solution.
Moreno said the city government will continue respecting the right of the people to choose the vaccine they will get, while following the national government policy.
“Patuloy kong irerespeto ang desisyon ng tao. We cannot deny you that information because it is your right. Pag andun ka na sa pila, di naman pinagbabawal na magtanong ka kung ano dine-deploy sa site na ‘yun kaya malaya pa rin kayo makakapamili. Pwede lumipat, hassle nga lang sa inyo,” he added.
Moreno said the city will no longer post the brand but will allow the people to ask around about the brand as part of their right to choose.
Tiangco said in Navotas, those who want to get Pfizer must schedule their appointment. He said they do not allow walk-ins and if the person scheduled to be vaccinated had skipped his schedule, thus he can no longer avail of the Pfizer vaccine but he could still get other brands.
“We are doing simultaneous inoculation of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. Both have high turnout. If vaccine roll out has not been problematic in our city, then there is nothing to solve here. Implementing the “brand agnostic” vaccination might just create a bigger problem than the problem we supposedly want to solve,” he added.
Moreno said they are still waiting for the new batch of vaccines for the city. He said they are ready for vaccinate the A4 category while waiting for the guidelines from national government. Lucky Chinatown Mall, Robinson’s Place, SM Manila and SM Lazaro have already volunteered to be vaccination sites in Manila. With Jerry S. Tan