THE NATIONAL police head said they fully support the current government policy against giving coronavirus vaccine booster shots even as cops are among the frontliners in implementing measures to address the medical emergency.
“Let’s not be greedy for vaccines. Many of us are still not vaccinated, even the first dose, due to the limited supply reaching the country,” national police chief Guillermo T. Eleazar said in Filipino in a news release on Sunday.
As of Aug. 15, there were 32,364 members of the police organization who have contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), of which 1,959 were active. Of the total, 30,314 have recovered while 91 died.
There are 221,782 police personnel, of whom 77,735 or 35% have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 while 90,230 or 40.68% have received their first dose.
Metro Manila mayors are looking to create their respective ordinances that would penalize individuals who will get additional shots of COVID-19 vaccines following reports of persons getting a booster jab by registering in another locality.
On Friday, the Metro Manila Council also unanimously approved Resolution 21-18, which penalizes individuals who will administer unauthorized inoculations with a fine of P5,000 and/or imprisonment of one to six months.
“This is also for everyone’s safety because we are not sure if the booster shots have a bad effect on the body especially if different brands have been injected into us,” Mr. Eleazar said.
Local health authorities are still undertaking studies, parallel to those of their foreign counterparts, on the effects of getting inoculated with different brands of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Meanwhile, a congressman who advocates for the rights of senior citizens called on the national government to take additional measures to have more senior citizens inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines.
The World Health Organization reported on July 30 that only 25% or 2.1 million elderly Filipino citizens have been fully vaccinated based on registrations by local government units.
Senior Citizens Party-list Rep. Rodolfo M. Ordanes said in a statement on Sunday that there is a need to support local governments with tools and incentives to convince the elderly to get inoculated as most registration methods are not easily accessible to them.
“The much better ways are mobile street level vaccination, text-only methods of pre-registration, and giving incentives like rice, medicines, and cash,” he said.
Mr. Ordanes highlighted the need for persuasion from caregivers and the entire household to get their senior members vaccinated as it “creates… real tiny bubbles of protection.”
He also said persuading the elderly to get vaccinated should be done in their mother tongue, must clearly communicate the benefits of getting the jab, and allay concerns over side effects. — Russell Louis C. Ku and Bianca Angelica D. Añago