By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The head of the Vicente Gustilo District Hospital (VGDH) in Escalante City, Negros Occidental yesterday provided an explanation as to why Mayor Melecio “Beboy” Yap, Jr. was allowed to be vaccinated with Sinovac vaccine last week.
Dr. Vermont Juvahib, head of the VGDH’s Hospital Management Team, said last March 18 they received the delivery of 150 allocated doses of the CoronaVac vaccine, which was made by Chinese vaccine manufacturer Sinovac.
Juvahib said they were given explicit orders to distribute the vaccines to their medical frontliners within three days only in which on the initial round-up, 33 medical personnel signified their willingness to be vaccinated the next day on March 19 and another 12 on March 21.
The hospital chief said they weren’t able to conduct a vaccination drive on March 20 due to a scheduled whole-day brownout due to maintenance activity by the local power cooperative in the city, and the pressure for them to complete the vaccination within three days was starting to weigh heavy on them.
On the morning of March 19, however, the number of medical personnel who showed up for vaccination was too low and they were prompted to report the issue to Yap, who has decided to have himself vaccinated so as to boost the confidence of the hospital’s health workers.
Juvahib said Yap’s action actually worked as after he got the jab, the health workers started lining up and by March 20 they had finished the inoculation, one day ahead of schedule.
The hospital chief added that he believes Yap did not have any bad intention when he volunteered to be vaccinated.
They will also no longer wait for the show-cause order (SCO) from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and they will send their explanation to them immediately.
Earlier, DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing revealed that Mayor Alfred Romualdez of Tacloban City, Leyte; Mayor Dibu Tuan of T’boli, South Cotabato; Mayor Sulpicio Villalobos of Sto. Niño, South Cotabato; Mayor Noel Rosal of Legazpi City, Albay; and Mayor Abraham Ibba of Bataraza, Palawan were issued show-cause orders for jumping the queue in getting their COVID-19 shots.
Yap, who is the second local chief executive to be vaccinated in Western Visayas, said he is prepared to go to jail if he committed any wrongdoing, adding he took the vaccine despite the lingering doubts.
He also clarified that he had no ill intention in getting the vaccine early, pointing out he was only setting an example for his constituents that they shouldn’t be afraid to get vaccinated./DGB, WDJ