On May 20, Frankie Pangilinan tweeted a video of her getting her COVID-19 vaccination. She wrote, "When I got an asthma attack mid-PE in middle school and everybody made fun of me, I swore I would get back at them one day and here we are."
While some netizens congratulated Frankie and sent her clapping emojis, others accused her of cutting in line to get vaccinated. User @marcpadz tweeted, "She loves to tweet sanctimonious rants but uses her privilege whenever the need calls for it. You don't have comorbidity, you have connections. You're the daughter of Sharon [Cuneta]. Regular Pinoys can't even get a med cert for a simple asthma para lang magpabakuna."
User @apothekerin said, "Nauna ka pa talaga, e nasa malaking bahay nyo lang naman ikaw. Hindi ka makapaghintay? Dapat mauna ang mga nagtatrabaho at lumalabas ng bahay para may makain sa araw-araw. Ano yan, girl, gusto mo na gumala kaya gusto mong mauna?"
On May 24, Frankie responded to the allegations that she cut in line. "Hi, I didn't want to make this a big deal but have y'all ever thought maybe people have health issues you don't know about? Didn't cut in line, got a text from Makati gov saying I qualified, so I went, because it's the responsible thing to do."
She went on to tweet a few more statements. One reads, "Made a lighthearted quip about it and wanted to be transparent, but even that was misconstrued. Everything I've done for the past year has been so dramatized and it's really tiring, guys."
"I had my own initial qualms about going precisely because I thought about the people who might better qualify," she explained in another tweet. "But if we all think like that, how are we ever going to achieve herd immunity? And why would I post a video on a public platform if I cut in line? Pls my goodness gracious."
Her last tweet on the issue is, "You don't even know what people are going through fr just be kind why is that so hard."
Regarding the relationship between asthma and COVID-19, according to the CDC, moderate to severe asthma—as well as other chronic lung diseases—can make an individual more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.
In April 2021, the DOH listed examples of COVID-19 comorbidities for priority in the government's vaccination campaign. The list includes chronic respiratory diseases and infections, and asthma was specified.