Minglanilla Mayor gets AstraZeneca jab, says he's 'frontliner' too

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CONSIDERING himself a “frontliner,” Mayor Elanito Peña of Minglanilla, Cebu received the AstraZeneca vaccine during the first day of the Municipality’s vaccination on Tuesday, March 23, 2021.

The local executive admitted receiving the Covid-19 vaccine in an interview with reporters.

Peña said the town doctors allowed him to be inoculated; however, Department of Health 7 spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said the local government unit did not consult them about the mayor’s vaccination.

Loreche said the medical healthcare frontliners must be prioritized.

Peña defended himself, saying he is also a frontliner as he is leading the town’s task force against Covid-19.

“I’m also one of the frontliners. All kinds of people approach me,” he said.

Aside from Peña, no other Minglanilla town officials were inoculated.

When the vaccines started to arrive in the country in February, the National Government announced that mayors, governors, barangay captains and other local government officials will not be prioritized in the vaccination rollout. The 1.7 million health workers in private and public sectors are first in line to receive the vaccines.

Loreche said it is up to the Department of the Interior and Local Government to reprimand local officials who violate the National Government’s order. (ANV / KAL)