SENATOR and chair of the Senate Committee on Health Christopher “Bong” Go praised the Duterte Administration for its accelerated rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines saying that if such gains are sustained and expanded further together with consistent enforcement of health protocols, the country will soon reach population protection towards herd immunity and gradual return to normalcy soon.
The country has now obtained a total of 87.7 million doses, of which 50.1 million doses have been administered. Over 26.7 million individuals have received their first shots while another 23.4 million are fully vaccinated. To further boost supplies, shipments of an additional 29.4 million doses are expected to arrive within the month.
“Kinokomendahan ko ang gobyerno sa kanilang pagsisikap na mabakunahan ang lahat ng mga Pilipino para makamit na natin ang inaasam nating population protection leading to herd immunity. Bilisan pa natin ang rollout at siguraduhin natin na ni isang bakuna ay walang masasayang,” appealed Go.
“Marami pang paparating na bakuna sa mga susunod na linggo kaya dapat iturok na kung ano ang mayroon sa mga natitirang essential at vulnerable sectors upang masiguro na walang Pilipinong maiiwan tungo sa ating muling pagbangon,” he added.
In his Talk to the People address aired on Monday, October 11, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that 77% or 7.5 million of the target population in Metro Manila are now fully vaccinated. He expressed confidence that the daily rate of shots will ramp up in the coming months once the vaccine drive is open to the general population including younger residents between the ages of 12 and 17.
The government aims to fully vaccinate at least 85% of the target population in Metro Manila and expand the rollout of vaccines in the critical areas of Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, and Rizal by the end of October.
In addition to the ongoing vaccine drive, Go also highlighted the successes of the public health measures following the recent findings by OCTA Research that reported a 29% drop in seven-day average of new cases, the country’s lowest since the first week of enhanced community quarantine on August 6 to 12.
To maintain the downward trend in daily cases, the senator reminded the public to remain vigilant and avoid complacency. He stressed the need to continue supporting the government’s Minimum Public Health Standards by wearing masks, washing one’s hands, and maintaining physical distancing, also locally known as ‘Mask, Hugas, Iwas’.
“Kung patuloy na bababa ang bilang ng magkakasakit at tataas naman ang bilang ng bakunado, mas mabilis pa nating maibabangon ang ating ekonomiya at mas makakabalik na tayo sa normal na pamumuhay pagdating ng panahon,” explained Go.
Go also repeatedly called for continued government support for poor and vulnerable sectors to ensure they have access to basic necessities while not compromising their health and safety.
“Huwag tayong mag-panic dahil ginagawa naman ng gobyerno ang lahat para mabilis na rumesponde at makatugon sa pangangailangan ng mga pamilyang apektado ng pandemya. Gayunpaman, ‘wag tayo magkumpiyansa. Sumunod tayo sa mga patakaran at kailangan dito ang disiplina at kooperasyon ng lahat,” said Go.
As government strives to balance the need to protect public health along with reviving the economy and livelihoods of Filipinos, Go emphasized that Filipinos should not lose sight of the necessity of being vigilant. “Our continued cooperation can save lives,” he reaffirmed.