Senator Christopher “Bong” Go urged the Filipino public to be vigilant against individuals who are allegedly selling Covid-19 vaccines, vaccination slots, or worse — fake vaccines. He reminded them that the vaccines being rolled out by the government are given for free.
He also warned perpetrators that they are putting lives at risk with their illegal activities and that they would be held accountable for such actions that take advantage of the vulnerabilities of Filipinos amid an ongoing health crisis.
The senator was interviewed after the launch of the 125th Malasakit Center in the country at the Siargao Island Medical Center in Dapa, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte.
“Bawal po ‘yung for sale! Pinaghirapan po ito ng gobyerno, libre po ang bakuna na pinapamahagi sa tao. Halos araw-araw tayong nagpa-follow up para makakuha lang ng bakuna sa ibang bansa. Kaya hindi po ito binebenta. Libre po ito sa mga Pilipino,” he said.
To ensure that they are properly distributed, Go said that the government had been allocating the vaccines to critical areas as well as far-flung communities, especially areas like Siargao Island.
On July 1, a nurse from a hospital in Manila was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation over the sale of Covid-19 vaccines. The following day, the city’s local government denied that the doses purportedly being sold were from its inventory.
The hospital has been asked by the city government to investigate the incident and pursue administrative charges against the nurse. The hospital also confirmed in a statement that the arrested nurse was not a member of the team that manages the Covid-19 immunizations.
The Senator also urged local leaders to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine doses reach those they are intended for, particularly medical frontliners who need them the most, as well as economic frontliners who are now being prioritized in the rollout.
“Kanina po, kausap ko ‘yung mga opisyales niyo dito (sa Siargao), kulang daw ‘yung bakuna. Sa airport po mismo, hindi pa bakunado ‘yung mga frotnliners doon, so paki-take note lang po na mabakunahan ‘yung mga frontliners dito sa Siargao dahil sila po ang exposed, lalung lalo na po parating ‘yung mga turista, ‘yung mga pasahero po papunta rito sa Siargao,” Go added.
“Pag galing po sa gobierno, hindi po ‘yan for sale. Bawat bakuna na ipinagkait niyo po sa Pilipino, buhay po ang katumbas niyan. So, huwag niyo pong gagawin kalokohan yan at pagbebenta ng bakuna. Pananagutin at aabutan po namin kayo,” Senator Go reiterated.