‘Inunahan lahat’: Vaccination of ‘influencer’ Mark Anthony Fernandez irks DILG official

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  • Actor Mark Anthony Fernandez should not have been given a COVID-19 vaccine since he is not on the government priority list, a Department of the Interior and Local Government official reiterated Thursday.

    “Napikon ako doon sa artistang nagpabakuna. Walang-wala ho siya doon sa priority list na A1 to A5. Kumbaga doon pa siya sa rest of the country. Malakas ang kaniyang pangangatawan, nagba-vitamins pa daw siya. Bigla mo malalaman inunahan pa lahat. Pati na rin mga healthcare workers, senior citizens inunahan niya,” DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said in a TeleRadyo interview.

    Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez has defended the decision to inoculate Fernandez, saying the actor has comorbidities such as depression that made him eligible to be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination.

    “It’s public knowledge ‘yung depression ni Mark, di ba? At mayroon pong hypertension ‘yung tao, according sa ating medical team na nag-inoculate po sa kanya…Depression po is a comorbidity,” he said in an interview.

    Densing, however, noted Parañaque City clearly did not follow the government’s vaccination plan that health workers should be inoculated first.

    “Hindi niya sinusunod priority. Obvious na obvious naman may binakunahan. Pag nasabihan na ho ‘yan, naghahanap na ho ‘yan ng excuse,” he said.

    “Sinasabi niya may comorbidity daw itong si Fernandez, pero sa isang entertainment portal sinasabi niya malakas ang katawan niya. Puro vitamins lang ang kaniyang maintenance. Kung magpabakuna siya pwedeng-pwede daw siya. Ngayon pa lang ho na sila’y sinisita na, maghahanap talaga ng dahilan na katanggap-tanggap at sinita na rin ni Presidente kagabi,” he added.

    The DILG official also questioned Fernandez’s inclusion in the substitution list.

    “Hindi po ako naniniwala. Kung nasa substitution list po siya, mali rin substitution list bakit sila inuuna? Ang pwede nating gawing substitution list ‘yung driver, ‘yung nasa palengke, ‘yung mga frontline workers. Essential workers po ‘yan. Bakit sila ang inuna? Inuna nila isang artista na wala namang sakit sa katawan,” he said.

    Under the priority list of the Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) for vaccinations, persons with comorbidities are next in line after medical frontliners and senior citizens.

    Densing said the Philippines’ allocation from the facility could be temporarily given to other poor countries if the priority list is not followed.
    He urged local chief executives to be more sensitive by strictly follow the list of prioritization of the national vaccination program.

    “Sana maging sensitive sila sa ganyan. Napag-usapan na namin na susundin po ‘yun. Kung influencer lang ang pag-uusapan lahat naman ng nabakunahan na healthcare workers na hindi naman nagkaroon ng adverse effect napakalaking influencer na po ‘yan ng ating mga kababayan,” he said.

    The DILG had served show-cause orders to some mayors who were already vaccinated even though they were not part of the priority list. While some mayors already aired their reasons during media interviews, Densing said the DILG will still wait for their official reply.

    “Ang purpose ng show-cause order ay para sila magpaliwanag. Nung ibinigay sa amin ang report, hindi namin hinusgahan. In fact, pina-verify pa namin sa regional office kung nagpabakuna nga. Nung nakuha namin ang report na nagpabakuna nga, nagpalabas kami ng show-cause order para sila’y magpaliwanag,” he said. (abs-cbn)

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