MANILA – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)-Episcopal Commission for Bioethics lauded the government for considering the less fortunate Filipinos to be prioritized in the national coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination program.
“We especially commend our national government for considering the poor in our national vaccination program. The poor are beloved of the Lord. They should be specially protected because their poverty makes them vulnerable to infection and severe disease,” Tuguegarao Archbishop Ricardo Baccay, chairman of the Commission, said in a pastoral statement on Saturday.
Baccay also urged the people to have themselves vaccinated.
“The Covid-19 vaccines will only be able to end the pandemic in our country if enough Filipinos are vaccinated so we urge all of our people to be immunized when the vaccines arrive in the Philippines,” he said.
The CBCP official expressed support for the government’s vaccine procurement initiatives.
“We, therefore, support the efforts of our national government to procure and to deploy these vaccines in our country, and we thank the private organizations who have come forward to help acquire them,” he said.
He, meanwhile, said people are still free to decide if they want to be vaccinated or not.
“We, therefore, recognize that each individual person should be left free to decide to choose to be vaccinated or not according to his or her conscience with full awareness of the obligation to protect oneself from being an instrument of contagion and the further spread of the virus,” Baccay added.
On Wednesday, the Department of Health said vulnerable sectors of the population would be prioritized to prevent the spread of Covid-19 given the limited supply of vaccines worldwide.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said 60 to 70 percent of the population must be immunized or vaccinated for the population to achieve herd immunity against the disease. (PNA)