Duterte thankful no one has died among PH vaccine recipients

Published March 9, 2021, 12:41 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

So far, so good.

No person has died after taking the coronavirus vaccine in the country since the government started the immunization drive early this month, according to President Duterte.

Health Workers and employees from Perpetual Succour Hospital in Cebu City were patched after being inoculated of the Sinovac vaccine (JUAN CARLO DE VELA / MANILA BULLETIN)

Addressing the nation Monday night, March 8, the President has welcomed that many vaccine recipients are “okay” although there were some reports of experiencing headache and fever.

“Ang bakuna na binababa sa eroplano ng military plane ng China. So anong gawain ko? Hindi ko na… Kaya kinabukasan tusok na, turok na kaagad. Sa awa ng Diyos, wala namang namatay at karamihan okay na (The vaccines were unloaded from a military plane from China. So what do i do? The next day, the vaccination started. With the Lord’s mercy, no one has died and many are already okay),” Duterte said during a televised address aired on state television.

“May iba na just headache, slight fever. Iyon lang naman pero that’s part of the territory of the effects of the bakuna. Nandiyan talaga ‘yan kasi it’s a foreign matter, pagka foreign matter ipasok mo sa katawan ng tao, magkaroon talaga ng reaksyon (Some just experienced headache, slight fever. That’s it but that’s part of the territory of the effects of the vaccine. It’s really there because it’s a foreign matter. When a foreign matter is injected into your body, there will really be a reaction),” he said.

Around 44,000 doses of vaccines have already been administered by the government since the immunization drive started March 1, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr said in a report to the President.

The vaccine recipients are mostly health frontliners, in line with the government’s list of priority groups. A few government officials received the COVID-19 jabs during the vaccine rollout last week.

The country has so far received 1.1 million doses of Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines, that paved the way for the vaccine rollout. An additional 20 million vaccines are expected to be delivered to the country in the second quarter of the year, Galvez said.

In the same meeting, the President received an assurance from Galvez about the rising uptake on the COVID-19 vaccines in the country.

Duterte first asked Galvez if the government could ever convince people “to get the vaccines for their own good.” Galvez replied that public confidence on the vaccines has started to improve as more medical frontliners have agreed to get free inoculations.

“I believe ‘yong ano sir iyong uptake sir natin from 37, tumaas na po sir ng ano more or less 50 na ngayon, sir (I believe the vaccine uptake has so far risen to more or less 50 from 37),” Galvez said.

“Because of our successful rollout dahil nakikita natin sir na though medyo calibrated, sir, ‘yong ano natin, but we can see iyong ano ‘yong ating mga deliveries from the start that we have received ‘yong ano ‘yong vaccine, naging maganda po (Because of our successful rollout, because we have seen that although calibrated, we can see our deliveries from the start that we have received the vaccines, it has so far been good),” he said.

In the face of rising COVID-19 cases in the country, the President also appealed to the public to trust the government and follow health protocols to stem the spread of the disease.

“Put your trust on the advice of government people, especially if coming from the Secretary of Health,” Duterte said.

“We have issued the warning. It’s very simple. Wash your hands, wear a mask then social distancing,” he added.