Are we seeing what we’re actually seeing?
Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez had himself inoculated against COVID-19, he announced yesterday, when the national government has already stated that health workers should be the first to be vaccinated against the disease.
In a video posted online, the 54-year-old Romualdez said he received Sinovac’s CoronaVac yesterday. At least 600,000 dosages of the vaccines arrived in the country early this month, a donation from the Chinese government.
Read: Alfred Romualdez on Mar Roxas: Weve always been friends
Now, we’re scratching our heads here, because according to the Department of Health, medical workers and those who work in several government agencies such as the Departments of Social Work and Development and Education should be vaccinated first. Early this week, the Health Department said that local politicians will also be prioritized, but they are at A4 level, below medical workers, senior citizens, and people with comorbidities.
Department of Health’s vaccine priority list
But Romualdez has an explanation (of course!). In a statement, he said that only 50% of frontliners in Tacloban were willing to be vaccinated, so he had to step up and show them that the vaccines are safe.
“Because everyone was scared and everyone was waiting for me. So I did it to lead my people out of fear. And I’m glad they responded positively!” he said.
The mayor added that people should “NEVER say” that he got the jab so he could protect himself from COVID before other people. (All caps his, friends.)
Read: Tacloban mayor accuses PNoy, Mar of partisan politics in Yolanda relief moves
“I did it to make the people see that it was okay to get the vaccine. I wanted our people to take it for protection, and so that the efforts of the national government will not be in vain,” he said.
He added that he was willing to be a “guinea pig” because “everything that hits us, hits me first.”
“As the Mayor, I am also a frontliner,” he said.
Wow, thank you for setting an example, mayor.
Update: The first version has been edited to include the Department of Health’s amendment to its list of priorities.
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