Bong Go

Bong Go: Gov’t hopes to reach herd immunity by end of 2021

May 16, 2021 People's Tonight 441 views

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go expressed optimism that there is “light at the end of the tunnel” as the government hopes to vaccinate at least 50 million people by September and reach the 70 million target for herd immunity by the end of 2021.

“Bilisan natin ang ating vaccine rollout at ni isang dose ay hindi dapat masayang dahil talagang agawan ang supply ng bakuna. Paigtingin at pabilisin natin lalo ang pagbabakuna para ma-attain natin ‘yung herd immunity sa community bago matapos ang taon,” said Go.

In a radio interview on Saturday, May 15, Go stressed the importance of maintaining discipline and continuing to follow the health and safety protocols in order to contain the pandemic while government proceeds with its vaccination campaign.

“Nakikita ko sa ibang bansa, gaya ng Israel at New Zealand, ay unti-unti nagiging zero cases na sila. Sa Israel, 81% na ang nababakunahan at nagtatanggal na sila ng mask. Ibig sabihin there is hope, there is light at the end of the tunnel,” said Go.

“Pero kung hindi tayo madidisiplina, maaaring tataas muli ang kaso. Look at what happened in India. Kahit nagbabakuna sila at manufacturer pa sila ng mga bakuna… tumaas pa rin ang kaso nila. Ibig sabihin, kailangan habang hindi pa natin na-attain ang herd immunity, ay huwag tayo magkumpyansa,” he continued.

The senator, who is Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, further appealed that the government should exert all efforts possible to implement a detailed rollout plan to ensure the safe, efficient and orderly distribution and administration of the vaccines.

“Dapat kahit saang sulok ng Pilipinas ay makakatanggap ng bakuna. Huwag po kayo mag-alala dahil parating na rin ang dagdag na doses. Sisiguraduhin nating walang maiiwan tungo sa ating muling pagbangon,” he reiterated.

Go added the he is in regular contact with National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III who are doing everything they can to acquire more doses and accelerate the deployment of the vaccines.

“Nung dumating ang unang 500,000 doses (ng AstraZeneca) sa bansa, dahil alam naman natin na may expiration, nag-approve na ang Inter-Agency Task Force at pina-rollout agad para hindi maabutan ang expiration date,” explained Go.

“Matatandaan natin mayro’n tayong kasunduan sa bansang India. Dahil lumaki ang cases nila, napurnada ang usapan… dahil kailangan rin nilang unahin ang kanilang nationals … but despite the challenges, sunod-sunod ang pagdating ng mga bakuna sa atin. Noong May 7, dumating ang two million doses ng AstraZeneca,” he added.

Go shared that there are currently more than 3,000 vaccination centers throughout the country, and that 6.5 million out of the government’s stockpile of 7.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, have already been deployed nationwide.

“Pinaghirapan ito ng gobyerno… Kaya dapat bilisan na. Ang ating local government units at pribadong sektor ay gusto rin tumulong. Sa akin naman, dapat makarating ito sa dulo, sa bawat sulok ng Pilipinas,” said Go.

Go further emphasized the importance of adhering to the approved list of groups and sectors that are prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccination. He urged national and local authorities not to waste time and most especially, not to politicize the rollout of the vaccines.

“Nakikiusap ako sa mga namamahala ng vaccination sa iba’t ibang lugar na wala dapat palakasan dito. Wala dapat pa-VIP at mas lalong wala dapat pulitika sa pagbabakuna. Kung sino ang dapat mauna, iyon dapat ang maturukan agad,” he stressed.

“Gusto ko pong bigyan ng pasasalamat ang mga local chief executives natin na sinusunod ang priority list na ating ipinapatupad. Ngunit, may nakakarating pa rin sa atin na mga balita na mayroon pang ilang nakakalusot,” Go said.

Go also expressed his dismay towards the actions of some individuals who receive VIP treatment, adding that vaccine program implementers are expected to understand that frontliners, vulnerable and essential sectors should be prioritized first during the vaccine rollout.

“Intindihin natin na inuuna ang frontliners para hindi bumagsak ang health system. Sinusunod ang senior citizens at mga may comorbidities dahil sila ang nangangailangan ng agarang proteksyon. Pagkatapos ay ang essential sectors para mas mabalanse natin ang kalusugan at ekonomiya. Kung hindi natin masusunod ang planong ito, mas tatagal ang rollout natin,” he said.

“Kung mapapatunayan po na may mga nabibigyan pa rin ng VIP treatment sa pagbibigay ng bakuna, sisiguraduhin po namin na mananagot ang mga in charge sa nasabing lugar,” Go added, echoing President Duterte’s sentiment towards those who violate the given priority list.

During his recent public address, the President said he will not allow the violations of the guidelines given by the IATF and he will hold the local governments down to the last barangay level responsible for any violation.

Go, then, appealed to the public to trust and support the government’s efforts to overcome the pandemic. He also assured that the country’s vaccination rate will continue to increase as more vaccines arrive in the Philippines.

“As the President said, these vaccines must be distributed immediately the fastest way that we can do it,” Go cited the President’s statements.

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