THE Metro Manila Council (MMC) has urged local government units (LGU) in Metro Manila to issue executive orders or enact ordinances penalizing all persons who are found to be responsible for unauthorized inoculations utilizing government-procured COVID-19 vaccines as booster shots. Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos, who is also the concurrent chair of the MMC, said the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) issued by the Food and Drug Administration for COVID-19 vaccines does not include the use of an additional or booster shot.
“There were reports that some fully-vaccinated persons are getting inoculated utilizing government-procured COVID-19 vaccines as booster shots in violation of the National Immunization Program and the EUA and thus detrimental to the unvaccinated Filipinos and thereby unnecessarily delaying the realization of population protection,” the MMDA Resolution No. 21-18 read.
“The Department of Health does not recommend booster shots in view of the quantity of vaccine supply relative to the number of persons in the priority sectors and its subgroups as well as the lack of scientific evidence that a booster is necessary for full protection against the coronavirus,” it also stated.
Abalos, a lawyer, said there is an urgent need to curb the unauthorized inoculations in the higher interest of population protection and to punish those involved in these fraudulent acts.
“Let me reiterate that the national government does not allow ‘booster’ vaccinations as of today. Hence, misrepresentation of vaccine status is strongly prohibited,” Abalos reiterated.
“All individuals such as, but not limited, to vaccinators, vaccinees, and facilitators who are found to be responsible for such act should be held accountable, based on existing laws, ordinances, rules and regulations,” he added.
The MMDA chief also asked LGUs to require the vaccinees to declare in a patient/vaccination form that he/she has not yet been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to inoculation.
As approved by the COVID-19 Task Force, the National Immunization Program for the COVID-19 vaccines is based on priority sectors and its subgroups.
The resolution was unanimously approved by all the local chief executives of Metro Manila on August 13.