Filipinos urged to get vaccinated soon to ward off new COVID variants

Published March 3, 2021, 2:45 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

People should consider getting vaccinated as soon as they are given the opportunity.

According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, vaccination is crucial especially to boost protection against the emergence of new coronavirus variants in the country.

(JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Roque said he finds it illogical for people to express their willingness to wait until their preferred vaccine choice becomes available in the country, even though they could already get inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine.

“Ngayong nandiyan na ang bakuna, bakit naman tayo hihindi, lalo na (at) mayroon nang mga bagong variants at lalo na kung ikaw po ay isang medical frontliner (Now that we have the vaccines, why would we reject them especially now there are new variants and especially if you’re a medical frontliner),” he said during a televised press briefing Tuesday, March 2.

“So it does make sense po na mag-antay pa ng bakuna na hindi naririyan, samantalang nandiyan na iyong proteksiyon po ng bakuna na available at puwede nang kunin (It does not make sense to wait for a vaccine is not yet here while another vaccine is already available that can give protection),” he said.

The government has rolled out its vaccination drive in government hospitals Monday, March 1, offering first the anti-COVID jabs health frontliners. Over 700 people have so far been inoculated during the first day of the vaccination drive.

The government’s immunization campaign is being conducted in other public and private hospitals across the country this month. Additional doses of COVID-19 jabs are expected to arrive in the country, according to authorities.

The government’s vaccination effort began as the country faces the continuing threats posed by the original COVID-19 strain and the other variants that were first detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa. The pandemic has infected more than half a million Filipinos and reversed the country’s economic growth trajectory since its outbreak last year.

Amid the lingering threat of new COVID variants detected in the country, Roque appealed anew to the public to continue to observe minimum public health standards.

Even after vaccination, he added that people must still wear mask, frequently wash hands, and practice physical distancing from others to curb the spread of the illness.

“Hindi po natin madi-deny na talagang habang nandiyan ang COVID, talagang mas maraming mahahawa (We cannot deny that while there is COVID, many will get infected),” he said.

“Ang importante, nasa posisyon tayo na bigyan ng medical attention at tulong iyong mga nangangailangan (The important thing is we are in a position to give medical attention and help to those in need),” he added.

 
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