Former vice president Jejomar “Jojo” Binay said on Wednesday it is still premature to loosen the lockdown restrictions by next month.
This after some government officials have called for the easing of lockdown restrictions following the vaccination of over 700 medical frontliners on Monday (March 1).
“This is still premature. Let’s not forget that the event was ceremonial,” the former vice president said in a statement.
“Hindi pa talaga dumarating ang bulto ng mga bakuna dahil wala pa ring pirmadong kontrata ang gobyerno sa vaccine manufacturers (The bulk of vaccines have not arrived yet because the government still does not have a signed contract with vaccine manufacturers),” he added.
Many people, including frontliners, are still hesitant to get vaccinated, Binay said.
“The bigger challenge is to convince them to get the vaccine shots regardless of brand or country of origin as long as they have been certified by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration),” he said.
He noted that the bulk of the purchased vaccines will start arriving by the second or third quarter of the year.
“Kaya habang wala pa ang bakuna, hinay-hinay lang sa plano na magluwag ng lockdown restrictions (So while the vaccine is not yet available, take it easy on the plan to relax lockdown restrictions),” said Binay.
“Baka sa pagmamadali na pabalikin ang mga kababayan natin sa trabaho kahit wala pang bakuna at hindi pa maayos ang contact tracing, mas lalo pang mapahamak sila (The situation might get worse if we hurry in making our people get back to work even if there is no vaccine available yet, and systematic contact tracing).”
On February 28, 600,000 doses of CoronaVac vaccines donated by China arrived in the country.