Let’s be fair.
A powerful politician has been criticized by an official of the Department of Health (DOH) for getting himself inoculated “four times” in the face of the acute scarcity of vaccines plaguing the country.
This was after San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora admitted during a press conference, which was attended by no less than Health Secretary Francisco Duque and Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, that he had been “vaccinated twice over.”
Zamora – who is the father of San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora – said he had gotten two shots of “bootleg” Sinopharm vaccine in December 2020, and another two doses of Pfizer last June 2021.
Rep. Zamora, 76, said this was done on the advice of his personal doctors.
However, this did not sit well with Dr. Beverly Ho, director of the Health Promotion Bureau of the Department of Health (DOH).
During an online forum on vaccine awareness recently, Dr. Ho said for every extra dose appropriated represents a dose taken away from another unvaccinated individual.
The Philippines started its vaccination program last March 2021, but so far only 4 million (out of a population of 109 million) have been fully vaccinated.
Dr. Ho said the country still has a long way to go before achieving herd immunity, which is 70 million vaccinated people.
“Not everyone has been vaccinated, and it is our job as citizens of the country to be fair to the rest of the population,” she decried.
Rep. Zamora’s booster shots run counter to the recommendation of the DOH’s Vaccine Expert Panel that this still is not advisable.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also warned against “vaccine mixing” or combining vaccines made by different manufacturers as there is still no available data to show this is safe.
But in countries such as Indonesia and Thailand, authorities are rushing to give Moderna booster shots to their frontliners to protect them against the Delta variant of Covid19.
It was revealed that said frontliners were earlier vaccinated with the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccines, but it now appears these aren’t too effective in preventing infections.
At the time Rep. Zamora received his Sinopharm shots in December 2020, it was still considered illegal because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only granted its Emergency Use Authorization in February 2021.
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