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Is the government to be blamed for mayors, personalities getting COVID-19 vaccine ahead of HCWs?

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed a “quick substitution list.” It happens when health workers do not show up or refuse to get vaccinated. It is to ensure that vaccine doses will not go to waste.

Names like Mark Anthony Fernandez and the first five mayors summoned by the DILG have managed to “cut in line” and get vaccinated. Netizens start to react unfavorably toward the Government.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed a “quick substitution list.” It happens when health workers do not show up or refuse to get vaccinated. It is to ensure that vaccine doses will not go to waste.

Roque described the list as “persons who can receive the vaccine if a health worker does not arrive or does not accept the vaccine” during a Laging Handa media briefing on March 25.

“Hindi ko lang po alam kung sino ang dapat na nasa quick substitution list,” he said.

Roque, in a complete 180-degree turn, warned that the country will risk losing millions of vaccine doses from the COVAX facility should these “cutsies” keep happening.

Netizens were not happy with Roque’s “quick substitution list” remark, saying the list should not even exist…

… especially with incriminating posts from local government units, like this one from Parañaque City.

One Netizen even thought what Roque was saying was a joke.

https://twitter.com/aldrengranada/status/1374966777197723650

A Netizen would link the quick substitution list to why people like Mark Anthony Fernandez get inoculated ahead of healthcare workers.

Other Netizens asked that the list be available to the public, saying that the secret is out anyway.

https://twitter.com/kelanocyte/status/1374953301259689986

Journalist Atom Araullo even went as far as saying the eligibility of people on this list should be clarified and vetted, “Otherwise, it’s just a fancy term for a VIP backdoor.”

ABS-CBN News’ Jeff Canoy jokingly asked how to get on the said list and its guidelines, too.

The worst part, though, is that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is completely unaware of the existence of the quick substitution list, as confirmed by Interior Usec. RJ Echieverri, in an interview with One News.

The list, however, seems to be out with local government units, as both Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro and Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez confirmed its existence.

As for the country losing its slot with COVAX, journalist JC Punongbayan says he is already worried.

https://twitter.com/jcpunongbayan/status/1374948449330720768

Roque can also be placed-on-the-spot for the statement he made on January 11.

During this media briefing, Roque said healthcare workers who refuse to take Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine would have to sign a waiver and be sent to the bottom of the current priority list before they can get their turn.


To date, the priority list is still in Priority Group A, which includes frontline workers in health facilities, senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, frontline personnel in the ‘essential’ sectors, and the indigent population.

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