Pinoys cannot be choosy when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine they want to receive from the government, the Palace said today, Jan. 11.
“Totoo po. Meron tayong lahat na karapatan para sa mabuting kalusugan pero hindi naman po pwede na pihikan dahil napakaraming Pilipino na dapat turukan,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
He added Filipinos should not be picky because the government will not force people to be inoculated.
That means that persons—particularly those who belong to the priority sector who are set to receive the vaccine first once it becomes available in the country—have the right to refuse the vaccine from the government.
However, they will be required to sign a waiver saying that they are giving up their privilege to receive the vaccine for free and will have to wait for it to be available in the market.
“Wala pong pilian, wala kasing pilitan. Pero magsa-sign ka ng waiver na hindi ka nagpaturok at kapag ikaw ay may prayoridad, siyempre mawawala ang prayoridad mo, sasama ka sa the rest ng taumbayan na naghihintay ng bakuna,” Roque explained.
The sectors included in the priority groups to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from the government first include frontline health workers, senior citizens, and uniformed personnel.
In the same briefing, Roque said the Philippines has secured 25 million doses of China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine.
“Magkakaroon na po tayo ng unang 25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac. Dadating na ang bakuna sa Pilipinas sa susunod na buwan,” he said.
“Well, wag naman kayo masyado mag-celebrate diyan dahil ang paunang darating po ay 50,000 doses lang ng vaccine galing sa Sinovac. Pero at least, magsisimula na rin po tayo,” he added.
During the Senate inquiry today, National Task Force against COVID-19 chief Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr. said the first round of vaccinations against COVID-19 in the Philippines may begin this February.
The initial doses will come from the COVAX facility, a global initiative organized through the World Health Organization, Galvez added.
The initial delivery will have vaccine doses enough for at least 20 million people, Galvez said. The succeeding delivery will be rolled out by the third and fourth quarter of 2021.
The government has also secured supply deals for vaccines with UK’s AstraZeneca and Serum Institute of India’s Covovax.