SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go praised the government’s COVID-19 pandemic response, noting that the country’s vaccine supply has now reached more than 100 million doses since the first shipment of vaccines arrived in February this year.
“Welcome development na umabot na sa higit 100 million doses ng COVID-19 vaccines ang meron tayo sa bansa. Resulta po ito ng mga pagsisikap ng ating gobyerno upang mabakunahan ang lahat ng mga Pilipino at maprotektahan tayo laban sa COVID-19,” Go said.
“Sa kabila nito, hinihikayat ko ang lahat ng mga Pilipino na magpabakuna na lalo na’t bukas na ang programa sa general population. Nasa datos na kapag bakunado ka, mas maiiwasan ang severe na kaso ng COVID-19,” he added.
As of October 30, the country has received a total of 104,113,480 vaccines. A total of 59,134,236 vaccines have been administered. Filipinos who have received their first dose now tally at 31,862,067 while 27,272,169 have been fully vaccinated.
“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 pinakanangangailangan upang walang maiwan sa ating muling pagbangon,” Go stressed.
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.
“Kapag mabakunahan na ang lahat ng eligible at maabot na natin ang herd immunity, tuluyan na ring bababa ang mga kaso ng nagkakasakit at mas mabilis tayong makakabalik sa normal na pamumuhay,” Go explained.
“Habang pinoproteksyunan natin ang buhay ng mga Pilipino, sinisikap rin nating lutasin ang hirap at gutom na dulot ng pandemya. Kapag protektado ang komunidad gamit ang bakuna, mas makapagtatrabaho na rin ang mga tao at sisigla ang kabuhayan ng lahat,” he added.
Meanwhile, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. indicated that in the fourth quarter of 2021, the country’s vaccination approach will be re-calibrated to emphasize on vaccinating the unvaccinated target populations. This will entail expanding student and child vaccinations, vigorous house-to-house vaccinations, and local government units reaching 70% first-dose coverage by the end of November.
Other areas of focus will include expediting vaccination in key cities and economic hubs, delivering third doses to healthcare workers and other vulnerable groups, and immunizing up to 90% of students, teachers, and teaching professionals by the end of the same month.
Go previously stated that the government should continue to rapidly deploy vaccinations outside of Metro Manila and complete vaccination of the target population, especially the elderly and those with comorbidities.
Following the announcement that the Department of Health has approved supplying booster injections for priority groups, Go also urged the government to finalize plans for the proper execution of booster shots.
“Importanteng paghandaan na natin ito. Baka kailanganin natin ng booster lalo na dahil sa mga naglalabasang variants. Dapat din natin masiguro na may sapat na pondo dahil tuluy-tuloy ang pagbabakuna natin hanggang sa susunod na taon,” Go warned during the deliberation of the 2022 budget of the Department of Health last October 13.
Meanwhile, to secure a safe Christmas and national elections, the government aims to vaccinate at least 50 million of the priority population before Christmas, 70% of the population in the National Capital Region Plus 10 areas, and at least 70% of the total population before the election period.
“I urge my fellow government workers, especially our local chief executives, to ensure the continuous deployment of the vaccines. Let us take it upon ourselves to bring the vaccine rollout closer to those who may have trouble getting them, such as the elderly and persons with disabilities who cannot leave their homes, and the people who live in rural and hard-to-reach areas,” appealed Go.
“The vaccine is the key to us eventually returning to normalcy, achieving herd immunity in the community, and overcoming this pandemic at the soonest possible time. So let us continue to work together and cooperate with the government so we can fully heal and recover as one nation,” he ended.