Northern Samar seeks fair probe on illegal vaccine transfer

 TACLOBAN CITY – The Northern Samar provincial government has vowed to conduct a fair investigation on the reported illegal transfer of 15 doses of anti-coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines in the province.

In a statement issued Monday night, the local government said they are one with the public in seeking the truth behind the alleged illegal transfer of 15 doses of Sinovac vaccines from the Northern Samar Provincial Hospital cold room/vaccination facility to the residence of a still-unnamed politician.

Reports have been circulating on Facebook that on June 10, these 15 doses of Sinovac were allegedly taken out of the provincial hospital due to the non-appearance of identified recipients. The vaccines were allegedly administered to persons close to the politician, including the security.

"The provincial government understands that this issue... is of transcendental importance to the people, considering the limited number of Covid-19 vaccines in the province and the strict government protocols on the handling and administration of the same," the statement reads.

On July 8, the Northern Samar provincial board held a hearing upon the request of Board Member Mary Ann Avalon, chairperson of the health committee attended by officials and employees of the provincial health office as resource persons.

Governor Edwin Ongchuan also signed Executive Order No. 01-06-21 which created the provincial health office investigating and the hearing committees.

"The provincial government assures the public that it will be objective in the treatment of the issue and will not tolerate any abuse of authority or breach of the protocols if proven in the course of the investigation."

Northern Samar officials also welcomed the directive of the Department of Justice to the National Bureau of Investigation to assist.

“The provincial leadership will respect the course and outcome of the investigation and will rely on the sound disposition of those entrusted with the process,” the statement added.

Northern Samar has already vaccinated 33,344 residents for the first dose and 12,352 individuals for the second dose.

The province has already received the shipment of 57,084 doses of vaccines from the National Vaccination Operation Center. (PNA)

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