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Gaane wants unhampered access of all to Covid vaccines Airs complaints of seniors on medical cleara


COUNCILOR Maria Lourdes S. Gaane, chair of the City Council committee on health and health insurance on Monday assured the public that she would exhaust all means necessary to ensure that constituents will have unhampered access to Covid vaccines.

In her special report during the City Council regular session presided over by Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin V. Uy, Councilor Gaane said she received numerous complaints from Kagay-anons who were scheduled for vaccination after having been pre-registered at the city’s digital portal.

Because they did not possess the needed medical certificates, Gaane said they left the vaccination area without being vaccinated. She cited that senior citizens wasted their time and opportunity to be protected due to technical issues.

“Requiring them to submit the said documents would impose additional costs, as they do not have the financial capacity to see a physician on a regular basis. Even securing extra money to pay for the public transport costs is a problem,” she added.

Gaane said before the arrival of vaccines the city was worried about low acceptance rate among Kagay-anons. But now it has indirectly limited the access to the vaccines, she pointed out.

“Vaccination is every Filipino’s right, not a privilege for a select few,” Gaane stressed.

According to the councilor, the Department of Health (DOH) issued a memorandum requiring senior citizens with special conditions to obtain medical clearance from their attending physicians to discuss vaccine-specific risks and benefits of vaccination of the unique situation of the patient.

“This ruling covers practically all seniors since most of them have existing comorbidities considering their advanced age,” she stressed.

Gaane said she was surprised since the earlier batches of senior citizens were not required to bring medical records.

The councilor called on DOH to amend its memorandum saying it should liberalize its implementing guidelines for the vaccination of priority group A2.

“We understand the imperative to control access to vaccines due to its sporadic and limited supply. But denying access to the same due to technicalities is discriminatory and anti-poor,” Gaane opined.

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