President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, February 14, made a renewed call to unvaccinated Filipinos to get COVID-19 shot, saying massive vaccination is the only way to return to normalcy.
“I am pleading to you, in behalf of government na mahinto na sana itong COVID. And the only way to do it is if most or not all Filipinos are vaccinated,” President Duterte said in a meeting on government’s COVID-19 interventions.
According to the President, people’s refusal to get the jab, whether it’s because of a belief or mere indifference, only exacerbates the health crisis that has gripped the world in the past two years.
“Wala pa tayo diyan sa herd immunity. Do not… The COVID is here and it can afflict everybody. No one is still safe. You have to avoid, wear a mask, and listen to what government says,” he said.
“Paulit-ulit ako nakikiusap sa mga tao na ‘yun naman sanang hanggang ngayon hindi pa nabakuna, huwag nilang pahirapan ang sarili nila balang araw, mga anak, and your neighbors of contaminating them pagka tinamaan kayo,” he stressed.
President Duterte assured Filipinos that there’s nothing to be afraid of regarding the safety of coronavirus vaccines as these have been scientifically proven to be effective in reducing infections, severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
“Maniwala na lang kayo sa gobyerno tutal ito ang hinihingi namin. Malibre tayong lahat. Someday, COVID-free talaga tayo, lalo na if most of the people are vaccinated,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the country’s vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., who was also present in the meeting, reported that vaccine uptake in the country has significantly improved with the pediatric vaccination in full swing.
Galvez said 9.3 million minors aged 12 to 17 years have received the first dose of COVID-19 jab while 8 million are now fully vaccinated.
The launching and mini-rollout of pediatric vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 years was also successful, he reported, noting that more than 100,370 children 5 to 11 years old are partially immunized against the deadly coronavirus disease.
Galvez, who is also the National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer, lauded local government units (LGUs) and the private sector for their extensive preparations in making pediatric vaccination sites a fun and enjoyable place for children.
“Ibang klase po ang naging preparasyon ng mga LGUs and private sector at nakakaengganyo po na magpabakuna ang mga bata dahil naging masaya, parang carnival po ang naging vaccination site,” he said.
“Kaya natutuwa po kami kasi naka-100,000 po tayo na nabakunahan at we never expect na ma-breach natin ‘yung 100,000.”
The vaccine czar also expressed his gratitude to the private sectors, medical associations, as well as parents who supported the immunization drive.
Figures are expected to double in the coming weeks as the government opens more vaccination sites across the country and as more vaccines come in, he added. PND