Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Saturday that he felt “stronger” and more confident to go outside and do his job as the country’s vaccine czar after he was inoculated with a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech.
The 58-year-old chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 used his post-vaccination experience to encourage healthcare workers to be inoculated so they can also perform their duties “with less worries.”
“Nakita natin talagang very effective ang mga bakuna at walang gaanong side effects. Feeling ko lumakas ako. Feeling ko protected ako. ‘Yung confidence ko lumabas. ‘Yung confidence ko na pumunta sa frontline nandoon (We have seen that the vaccines are very effective and there are not much side effects observed. I feel stronger. I feel protected. I feel confident. My confidence to go to the frontline is there),” he said at the sideline of the vaccine rollout of AstraZeneca vaccines at the Ospital ng Paranaque.
“Ganoon din sana sa healthcare workers. Kapag naturukan na sila, wala na silang magiging takot. Magkakaroon sila ng confidence at tataas ang treatment quality natin (I hope that the healthcare workers will do the same. If they are vaccinated, they will be fearless. They will have confidence and our treatment quality will improve),” he added.
Galvez took the CoronaVac vaccine from Sinovac Biotech last March 1 when the government kicked off the vaccination program at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila. Aside from cold and runny nose, he had said that he did not experience any side effect after taking the Sinovac jab.
Since the vaccine program was launched, Galvez said around 350,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines were already deployed in 100 hospitals around the country.
“Lahat ng may first doses ng Sinovac, ibibigay na natin ang second doses para hindi na mawalan ang ospital, hindi na magsabi na walang second dose (All [hospitals] which received the first doses of Sinovac will get their second dose so they won’t complain that they did not have enough supply),” he said.
Meanwhile, Galvez urged the public to continue using face mask and face shield, observing social distancing, and practicing good hygiene despite the “added protection” brought by the vaccines.
“Huwag po magkumpyansa kasi narito na ang mga variants. Ang ano natin ‘vaccine plus’ so may added protection na sa vaccine, plus mayroon pang minimum health standards (Let us not be complacent because the new variants are already here. We should practice ‘vaccine plus’ strategy which means there is the added protection from the vaccine, plus we observe the minimum health standards),” he stressed.