MANILA, Philippines — The country’s COVID-19 vaccine supply is hardly sufficient for the entire Filipino population that is why the government is prioritizing the vulnerable sectors first.
However, some people who cannot wait for their turn have no problem with faking comorbidities so that they can jump the vaccination line.
The Department of Health (DOH) warned that giving false health declarations could lead to criminal charges.
“Baka hahanap pa tayo ng ibang batas na pwede nating makita at pwede nating gamitin pero iyong pag nagfa-falsify kasi tayo ng mga sakit natin, katulad niyan it’s going to be on public record. Meron po iyang mga penalties—meron na po tayong vina-violate sa ating mga existing laws in the country,” warned Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.
Republic Act 11332 of the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act states that offenders would face a penalty of up to P50,000 and imprisonment of up to six months.
The DOH is also looking into other laws that could penalize those who will fake their conditions and claim comorbidities just to get vaccinated.
The DOH said people shouldn’t rush to get the vaccine because once the supply is enough, each and every Filipino will have a chance to receive it.
“So atin pong binabalaan at atin pong binibigyan ng advise ang ating mga kababayan. Don’t go to that strategy. Hindi nyo po kailangan gawin iyan. Maghintay lang po tayo at dadating ang mga bakuna para mabakunahan po tayo lahat,” Vergeire said adding that there is a proper process that each person with comorbidity should go through.
They also need to submit some requirements to assess their conditions before they get vaccinated.
“Kapag po tayo ay nag- masterlist nagsusumite ang ating mga kababayan ng mga kanilang apparent comorbidities. Pagdating nila doon sa vaccination site, we need proof or evidence na kailangan maipakita nila na sila talaga ay may sakit. Ang nirequire natin, kailangan meron silang reseta, kailangan six months before meron silang medical certificate, 18 months before pwede, pwedeng mga laboratoryo,” Vergeire stressed.
“Iyan ay ini-evaluate ng ating screeners and pag nakita nila na hindi sya authentic, and then we will just tell them na hindi niyo pa turn and you you just need to go back. So ganun po yung ginagawa natin,” she added.
Meanwhile, the DOH cannot confirm if all in NCR Plus 8 areas would be completely vaccinated to reach population protection before the end of 2021.
According to DOH, herd immunity is only possible once the supply of COVID-19 vaccines becomes stable.
“Ito iyong focusing on specific areas that will give us more impact in vaccinating. So for NCR plus 8, ito po ang ating ine-estima na hopefully by the end of the year we will be able to achieve depending on the supplies that will come in. Pero ang kailangan nating balikan ding population protection also speaks of as here in the Philippines being able to vaccinate those most vulnerable,” Vergeire said. MNP (with report Aiko Miguel)