Some govs, mayors move up in vax list

Governors and mayors in areas considered as “high risk” will now be considered as frontliners and can get vaccinated immediately, National Task Force Against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon said on Sunday.

“A letter request was sent by the League of Provinces signed by the President of the League of Provinces. The letter requested the President to consider having all governors and all local chief executives or mayors be considered as frontliners under category A1 to be allowed to be vaccinated,” he said.

“This request was endorsed by the President to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) and the IATF on Saturday decided to initially allow mayors and governors in high risk and critical areas,” he said.

Of the 1,700 governors and mayors across the country, 400 are in high risk and critical areas, including those in the NCR Plus bubble, Dizon said.

“If this was war, they are our commanders in the frontlines. They need to be protected,” he added.

The League of Cities of the Philippines also sent a separate letter to President Duterte seeking the inclusion of local chief executives in the top vaccine priority group.

“In the vaccination roll-out, city mayors visit the site physically, report to the city hall regularly, and are front and center in this fight against the pandemic,” said LCP president and Bacolod Mayor Bing Leonardia.

“Local chief executives are at great risk of exposure due to the magnitude of their work and thus need to be protected through vaccination immediately. It might also be prudent to inoculate the city mayors now rather than later to minimize the virus’ spread,” Leonardia added.

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