Just how in the world did Mark Anthony Fernandez, a 42-year-old actor who even admitted to being in the pink of health, get the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of other frontline healthcare workers?
Parañaque Edwin Olivarez has said that Fernandez was a “priority” as he was included in the so-called “quick substitution list” because he has a comorbidity.
Olivarez said the actor’s comorbidities are hypertension and depression.
Fernandez, however, said in an earlier interview with pep.ph that he is healthy.
“Wala naman akong maintenance medicine. Ang pinaka-maintenance ko is multivitamins, vitamin C. Palagi akong nag-eensayo kaya hindi mataas ang blood pressure ko o blood sugar,” Fernandez said.
The “quick substitution list” or QSL is stated in Resolution No. 2 of the Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group for COVID-19 (NITAG).
“In order to minimize vaccine wastage and prevent distribution of previously allocated vaccines to non priority groups, vaccination sites shall prepare a quick substitution list (QSL) consistent with the principle of prioritizing and protecting those who are most at risk due to exposure,” the resolution stated.
The Resolution also identified the list of healthcare institutions that could be tapped in level of prioritization for QSL as follows:
i. COVID-19 referral hospitals;
ii. Hospitals with COVID-19 cases:
1. Level 3 DOH Hospitals
2. Level 3 Other Government Hospitals
3. Level 3 Private Hospitals
4. Level 2 DOH Hospitals
5. Level 2 Other Government Hospitals
6. Level 2 Private Hospitals
7. Level 1 DOH Hospitals
8. Level 1 Other Government Hospitals
9. Level 1 Private Hospitals
iii. Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility (TTMF) for quarantine/ isolation; iv. Other hospitals such (i.e. military hospitals); v. Community facilities (i.e. Rural Health Units (RHUs); vi. Standalone and other facilities; and vii. Closed health institutions.
In case the initial priority list or A1 does not show up during vaccination day, the Resolution stated that the vaccination site should first attempt to vaccinate other pre-identified staff within the facility who are scheduled on different days.
Only after “exhausting the said list” could the site tap the recipients from the predetermined QSL.
After A1, the next priority is A2 for senior citizens and A3 for adults with comorbidities.
“Vaccinating the next priority groups such as A2 and A3 or hospital patients belonging to these categories shall be allowed only as final resort,” the Resolution stated.
The preparation of a QSL is also stated in the Department of Health’s (DOH) Office of the Secretary Memo No. 2021-0099.
“If the initial list of identified recipients is exhausted, the vaccination site can then tap the recipients from the QSL. Vaccination of eligible recipients from the next priority group shall be the option of last resort,” the memo stated.
Yesterday night, President Rodrigo Duterte made reference to the incident, saying that he has asked the DOH to probe the incident regarding the vaccination of an actor in Parañaque.
The Department of Interior and Local Government, meanwhile, said they have served a show-cause order to Olivarez to explain the incident.
DILG Usec. Epimaco Densing said he does not believe that Fernandez has a comorbidity, but said that he may likely get off with at most a civil case if at all.
“Excuse na lang nila yun, gumawa na lang sila ng rason,” said Densing during the Laging Handa briefing today.
“Iyong mga sumingit tulad ni Mark Anthony Fernandez na wala sa priority, as of this time wala po kaming nakikitang liability. Mukhang makakalusot kung wala. Pero sana yung mga ordinaryong Pilipino na sisingit, makonsensiya naman kayo,” he said.
The DILG has also served a show-cause order to five mayors yesterday for also getting the jab ahead of healthcare workers.
Thumbnail and banner photo AFP/Dibyangshu Sarkar