Go welcomes expansion of national vaccination program to the general public

Go welcomes expansion of national vaccination program to the general public

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has commended
President Rodrigo Duterte for approving the recommendation to expand
the national vaccination program to the general population beginning
in October in accordance with the vaccination guidelines determined by
health experts.

“Kinokomendahan ko po ang desisyon ng Pangulo na buksan na ang
pagbabakuna para sa general population,” said Go.

“Susi po ito upang mabilis nating makamit ang inaasam nating
population protection at herd immunity para maging mas masaya ang
ating Pasko ngayong taon at dahan-dahan tayong makabalik sa normal na
pamumuhay,” he added.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Duterte ordered
the vaccination of the general public based on a recommendation from
vaccine czar and chief implementer of the COVID-19 National Task force
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.

“Magsisimula na po ang pagbabakuna sa general population itong buwan
ng Oktubre,” Roque shared during a press briefing.

The Philippines has only vaccinated a select portion of the population
based on the earlier approved priority list, such as medical
frontliners, senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, essential
workers, and indigents.

According to Go, the President has approved the immunization of the
broader public as more supplies of vaccines enter the country.

“Bilang chair ng Senate Committee on Health, masaya akong ibalita na,
as of September 27, 2021 ay meron nang 44.36 milyong doses ang
naiturok na bakuna kontra COVID-19, na kung saan 23.77 milyong
Pilipino ay naturukan na ng kanilang unang dose samantalang may dagdag
na 20.58 milyong kababayan natin ang nakakumpleto na ng kanilang
bakuna,” Go shared.

“Inaaasahang tataas pa lalo ang bilang ng mga bakuna sa susunod na mga
buwan kung kaya’t bubuksan na rin ang ating vaccination program sa
general population sa Oktubre upang mapabilis ang rollout at marating
natin ang herd immunity sa lalong madaling panahon,” he explained
further.

While Roque did not specify an age bracket, Galvez previously
suggested that 12 to 17 year olds be allowed to be inoculated against
COVID-19 by the middle of October.

Earlier, Go appealed to the government to study the possibility of
expanding the vaccination rollout to include the remaining members of
the general public who are not presently eligible under the
vaccination priority list.

Go emphasized that the more Filipinos get vaccinated, the faster the
country can return to normalcy.

“At kung patuloy na bababa ang bilang ng nagkakasakit at tataas naman
ang bilang ng bakunado, mas mabilis po nating maibabangon ang ating
ekonomiya at mas makakabalik po tayo sa normal na pamumuhay pagdating
ng panahon,” he said.

Go also asked authorities to explore the possibility of providing
incentives for fully vaccinated individuals in order to encourage
others to overcome their hesitations.

“Pag-aralan rin po dapat nang mabuti ang pagbibigay ng insentibo sa
mga bakunado tulad ng mas maluwag na mga patakaran. Maaaring pwede na
sila kumain at pumasyal sa labas, makatrabaho, at makagalaw nang wala
masyadong restrictions,” he said.

“Para rin po ma-enganyo at tumaas ang vaccine confidence. ‘Yung mga
pribadong sektor, may sarili ring mga inisyatibo tulad ng pagbibigay
ng discounts. Welcome po ang lahat ng ito,” he added.

Throughout the pandemic, Go successfully appealed for the inclusion of
various groups in the vaccine priority group, such as athletes
competing in the Tokyo Olympics, OFWs and Professional Regulation
Commission personnel handling the licensure examinations.

“Tulad ng aking sinasabi noon, bakuna muna bago pulitika! Unahin
nating malampasan ang pandemya para mabigyan ng tunay na pag-asa ang
ating mga kababayan dahil kung hindi natin malalampasan ang krisis na
ito, baka wala na tayong pulitikang pag-uusapan pa,” Go reiterated. (ai/mtvn)

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