Go reiterates that vaccination, despite not being mandatory, key to return to normalcy

Go reiterates that vaccination, despite not being mandatory, key to return to normalcy

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health
Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said that since there is no law
mandating vaccinations against the COVID-19, efforts must be exerted
to further raise public awareness and confidence on how vaccines can
protect communities toward achieving herd immunity and return to
normalcy.

He called upon the government and the public to step up its
information dissemination campaign, adding that awareness building
initiatives will prove to be more effective in improving and
sustaining vaccine confidence and uptake in the long term.

“May mga pag-aaral na nagsasabi na tumataas naman ang vaccine
confidence ng mga Pilipino kumpara noong nagsisimula pa lang tayo. Ako
rin po napapansin ko sa pag-iikot ko, mas marami na ang willing
magpabakuna,” said Go.

“Kaya para sa akin dapat walang pilitan. Ang importante makuha natin
ang kumpiyansa at tiwala ng mga kababayan natin at ipaintindi sa mga
tao ang kahalagahan ng pagbabakuna laban sa COVID-19 dahil ito ang
tanging susi at solusyon para makabalik tayo sa normal na pamumuhay,”
he continued.

A survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations from September 27 to
30 found that 64% or three out of every five adult Filipinos are
willing to get vaccinated. This is up from 55% in June and double the
percentage reported in May.

Go likewise reiterated his appeal for all levels of government and
sectors of society to work together to introduce innovative ways to
incentivize vaccination so the country can meet its goals of attaining
population protection leading to herd immunity at the soonest possible
time.

To increase the vaccination coverage in Metro Manila, Go previously
extended his support to an appeal by the Metro Manila Council of the
Metro Manila Development Authority urging the Inter-Agency Task Force
on Emerging Infectious Diseases to ease certain COVID-19 guidelines
for those fully vaccinated, subject to further study and consultation.

“Sa halip na gawing mandatory ang vaccinations, dapat palakasin na
lang natin ang panghihikayat sa ating mga kababayan na magpabakuna,”
said Go.

“Maaaring magbigay tayo ng mga incentives sa mga bakunado, tulad ng
mas maluwag na mga patakaran. Maaaring puwede sila kumain at pumasyal
sa labas, makapagtrabaho at makagalaw nang wala masyadong
restrictions,” he proposed.

The lawmaker pointed out that fully vaccinated individuals have
significantly lower risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19. As
a result, it would be safer to engage in normal activities for as long
as basic health protocols, such as wearing a mask and social
distancing, among others, is observed.

As of November 5, the country has administered over 63.4 million doses
of COVID-19 vaccines. More than 34.2 million individuals have received
their first dose while another 29.2 million are fully vaccinated. The
average daily doses administered in the last seven days currently
stands at 647,580.

In the end, the senator reminded local government units along with the
Department of Health to ensure there are sufficient vaccination
centers, especially in far-flung areas, to execute the vaccination
rollout in accordance with the government’s timetable. He added that
the centers must be readily accessible, particularly to rural and
remote populations.

“Hinihikayat ko ang gobyerno mula sa national hanggang sa lokal na
bilisan at siguraduhing makarating ang bakuna sa bawat sulok ng bansa
lalo na sa mga komunidad na pinaka-nangangailangan,” appealed Go.

“Palawakin natin ang rollout, paramihin natin ang vaccination centers,
at kung kailangan suyurin ang mga pamamahay, gawin po natin, upang
masigurong walang maiiwan sa ating muling pagbangon,” he said.

Meanwhile, Go praised the government’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts so
far, as the country administered more than one million COVID-19
vaccines in a single day on Thursday, November 4.

“Welcome development na umabot na sa higit isang milyon ang ating
daily vaccination rate. Sana ay tuloy tuloy nang ganito ang ating
rollout sa susunod na mga araw hanggang marating ang herd immunity
tungo sa susunod na taon,” Go said.

“Resulta po ito ng kooperasyon ng ating mga kababayan, malasakit sa
isa’t isa, at pagsisikap ng ating gobyerno upang mabakunahan at
maprotektahan tayo laban sa COVID-19,” Go added.

The country is expecting to receive around 50 million more doses
before the year ends. This includes 10 million COVID-19 shots from the
COVAX Facility.

“Bumababa na ngayon ang bilang ng mga kaso sa Maynila pero ‘huwag pa
rin tayo maging kumpiyansa. Siguraduhin natin na makarating ang bakuna
sa mga pinaka-nangangailangan upang walang maiwan sa ating muling
pagbangon,” Go stressed. (ai/mtvn)

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