By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Following the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte to open
the COVID-19 vaccination to the general population, including minors,
this October, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go appealed to government
authorities, in coordination with local government units, to ensure
the efficient distribution of doses to its constituents to ensure that
more Filipinos are protected against the virus.
“Tuluy-tuloy po itong pagbabakuna natin. Nakikiusap po ako sa ating
mga LGUs na makipagtulungan upang siguraduhin maiturok agad ang mga
bakuna. Ang importante po ay walang masayang na bakuna, walang
masayang na oras, walang masayang na minuto, walang masayang na araw,”
“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.
Go also asked officials to look into the possibility of giving
incentives to fully vaccinated Filipinos in order to encourage others
to join the vaccination program.
“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, magtrabaho, at gumalaw ng 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.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, President Duterte
approved the proposal of chief implementer of the National Task Force
Against COVID-19 and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. to
inoculate the general public, including minors, to ramp up the
government’s fight against COVID-19.
Roque mentioned that the government will start rolling out vaccines to
minors, aged 12 to 17, on October 15 under a “phased approach” based
on the recommendation of the National Vaccination Operations Center.
Furthermore, Roque said minors will be inoculated with COVID-19
vaccines that are available for emergency use.
Based on the “phased approach,” vaccination shall prioritize
dependents of health care workers and children with comorbidities
which shall be categorized under the A1 and A3 priority groups,
respectively. The inoculation program beyond this group would follow
once adequate coverage within the said groups have been achieved.
He then advised parents of minors to be guided accordingly in
cooperation with the government to include their children in the
master list for COVID-19 vaccination.
“Ang good news po, inaprubahan na po ni Presidente ang pagbabakuna sa
general population simula po sa buwan ng Oktubre,” Roque said in a
“At magsisimula na rin po ang ating pagbabakuna ng ating mga kabataan
pero ang ating hinihikayat ngayon ay magpa-masterlisting na po ang mga
magulang ng mga kabataan,” Roque added
So far, the government has administered jabs to individuals included
in the previously approved priority list, such as healthcare workers,
senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, essential workers, and
Senator Go reassured that there are sufficient vaccines to administer
to the general population. Likewise, he cited that more supplies of
doses are anticipated to arrive this month.
As of October 3, the government has successfully given 46.38 million
doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Filipinos. Out of these numbers, 24.58
million individuals received their first doses while 21.8 million are
As Chair of Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Go has
successfully pushed to include various groups in the vaccine priority
list, including athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics, Overseas
Filipino Workers 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.