According to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, only the advisers of President Rodrigo Duterte can decide for now if the Cabinet members can move up the vaccine priority list soon.
Nograles revealed Thursday that the President asked the interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) when his Cabinet can get their COVID-19 shots. This, after the rollout of doses from Chinese drug maker Sinovac Biotech and the expected arrival of vaccines from British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical firm Oxford AstraZeneca.
Duterte had discussed the matter when he presided over Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting to touch on the matter of the government’s latest inoculation efforts, said Nograles.
“He was just asking kung kailan ‘yung Cabinet members ma-inoculate…,” he said. “He considers us in the Cabinet as frontline workers and very much exposed also — umiikot sa ospital doing the simultaneous ceremonial inoculations in different regions.”
“Masyado kaming exposed kaya nag-aalala lang si Pangulo,” he added.
The co-chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases also said that the proposal to have them vaccinated is a “work in progress” and they will discuss the matter further with NITAG.
“When NITAG feels it’s time for Cabinet members to show that they too are willing to boost confidence level, then anytime, we’re ready,” Nograles said.