By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Christopher “Bong” Go shared on Wednesday, March 24, that the one million CoronaVac jabs procured by the government from Sinovac are expected to arrive on Monday, March 29, as he stressed the importance of vaccination towards the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Hopefully, the first procurement of the Philippine government will arrive on the 29th of March and I heard it will be received by the President,” Go said during the turnover ceremony for the second batch of 400,000 CoronaVac vaccines donated by the Chinese government to the country held at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
According to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr., in addition to the first 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines donated by China and the additional donation of 400,000 doses received today, one million more doses purchased by our government are expected to arrive soon from China.
Go earlier assured that there is no delay in the vaccine rollout as there will be more deliveries of vaccines from other sources by middle of this year, pursuant to our National Vaccine Roadmap.
“We are simply complying with the necessary processes, aligned with the agreed schedule, as negotiated with our international partners,” he previously said.
The arrival of the second batch of Sinovac vaccines donated by China, according to Go, is another major milestone in the government’s national vaccination program.
“This is another major milestone for us, especially since the supply of vaccine is very limited and we have to inoculate 1.7 million front-liners and we have to meet our target for this year in order to attain herd immunity,” Go said.
Go, then, emphasized that health workers need to be prioritized for the vaccines to “arm” and protect them against the virus while doing their job of containing the pandemic and protecting Filipinos’ health.
“Importante ‘yung mga health workers natin. Madami po akong nababalitaan na mayroong mga nauuna. Dapat muna nating protektahan ang ating mga health workers. We should arm them since sila po ang sinasabak natin dito sa giyerang ito, dapat armasan po natin ang ating mga health workers (sa pamamagitan ng bakuna),” Go said.
“Alam niyo mahirap magkasakit, hindi basta-basta ‘yung trabaho ng mga health workers natin. Ika nga sa giyera, sa military, isinabak natin sila sa giyera. Dapat armasan natin sila nang husto at ito po ‘yung bakuna. So sila ang dapat po mauna,” he added.
Go said that once 1.7 million health workers throughout the country have been vaccinated, the poor and vulnerable sectors, such as senior citizens and individuals with comorbidities, will be inoculated next to protect them from severe COVID-19 infection.
“Matapos natin (bakunahan) ‘yung 1.7 million, then susunod naman po ‘yung mga senior citizens, susunod naman po ‘yung may mga comorbidities dahil sila po ‘yung importanteng protektahan po natin,” assured Go.
Go emphasized that the vaccine rollout must be implemented in accordance with the identified priority list in order to achieve herd immunity and not to jeopardize the delivery of more vaccines.
“So, mga kapatid nating Pilipino, nakikiusap po ako sa inyo, sumunod po tayo. Kung sino po nasa priority list po ng vaccine rollout, sumunod lang po tayo. Aabot naman po tayo sa pinakababa at ang importante naman po dito ay lahat ng Pilipino (na dapat mabakunahan) ay mabakunahan at wala pong maiiwan dito sa ating vaccine rollout,” he added.
Go also asked Filipinos to strictly comply with health protocols and imposed guidelines to stop the spread of the virus and help in alleviating the burden on the public health care system. He mentioned that the country’s low case fatality rate should not be a reason for the public to become complacent about the pandemic.
“Nakikiusap po ako sa mga Pilipino, huwag ho kayong maging kumpiyansa sa ngayon. Alam niyo marami nang nagiging kumpiyansa, nagdidikit-dikit na mga tao kahit saan kami pumunta, nagkakadikit-dikit na ‘yung mga tao,” Go said.
“Hindi porket mababa ‘yung COVID-19 death rate ay maging kumpiyansa po tayo. Huwag natin hintayin na umabot pa po sa sitwasyon na bumagsak ang ating health care system, puno na ‘yung mga ospital at wala na po paglalagyan ng mga pasyente, pati quarantine facilities delikado pong magkulang ito. Diyan po lalo magkakahawaan dahil ‘yung ibang posibleng nagpositibo ay hindi na po maa-isolate,” he added.
Go urged the public to continue to cooperate with authorities, remain vigilant, and join in the bayanihan efforts against COVID-19.
“So huwag tayong maging kumpiyansa. Sa mga kapwa ko Pilipino, nakikiusap kami ni Pangulong Duterte sa inyo — disiplina po ang kailangan dito,” Go said.
“Pangalawa, huwag ho kayong matakot sa bakuna, matakot po kayo sa COVID-19. Ang tanging solusyon, ang tanging susi natin dito ay ang bakuna po para makabalik tayo sa normal nating pamumuhay,” he ended. (AI|MTVN)