Bong Go

Bong Go: Vaccination key to return to normalcy

November 8, 2021 People's Journal 207 views

SENATOR and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health Christopher “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, are 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.

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