Slowly but surely, it is becoming apparent that vaccine hesitancy in the city of Manila is now being eased out and in its place, the public is beginning to place their trust and confidence in getting the jab, owing to the desire to get protected from the severe effects of COVID-19.
As of this writing, I am very happy to note that more than 395,000 individuals have already signified their interest in availing of the free vaccination by having themselves registered with manilacovid19vaccine.com.
We launched this pre-registration before the clock struck 12 on December 31 last year, as a way of ushering in the year 2021.
Alongside this, we held a series of simulation exercise of our mass vaccination program and thanks to Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, the Manila Health Department headed by Dr. Arnold Pangan and the directors of the six hospitals owned and run by the city, we are now reaping the benefits.
Praises and words of gratitude being heaped on our vaccinating teams and the processes involved and flooding the social media for making getting the jab a breeze among vaccinees are enough to make us know that we are on the right track and we will continue to be until the targeted herd immunity is finally achieved.
While we waste not a single moment to deploy the vaccines that land in the city as soon as they are given by the national government – thanks to President Rodrigo Duterte, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and vaccine czar and chief implementer of the National Task Force against COVID-19 Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr., among others – we continue and constantly call on our constituency to grab every opportunity of getting vaccinated that comes their way, owing to the limited arrival of the vaccines.
And while the number of vaccinees increase, especially those who have already gotten their second dose and are thus fully vaccinated, I would like to remind them to continue being responsible citizens and to never equate the vaccine with immunity.
As I have explained time and again, the vaccines are there only to provide us with added protection from COVID-19. One can still get infected although being vaccinated with the full, two doses is expected to give one’s body a fighting chance so that if one gets infected, he may not end up falling under the severe or critical condition which sometimes result in death.
Ditto in the case of those who were fortunate enough to have recovered after getting infected with the coronavirus.
I am appealing to them to share their experience with their loved ones be they friends or family, so that the latter would know that COVID is real and should be taken very, very seriously.
I also would like to call on them not to entertain the thought that since they have gotten the coronavirus and recovered from it, they are already immune to it and may already behave like there is no pandemic.
There is no study or scientific proof or even mere pronouncements from health experts that once you got infected, you will not get the virus a second time. In fact, there are some who survived the first infection but failed to make it when they got infected again.
I am tirelessly issuing these reminders because once people are lax in the thought that they will not be infected again and that they already have the antibodies, there is the likelihood that they will get the virus once more.
When this happens, they will inevitably become super spreaders and victimize their housemates, officemates and other innocent people that they come across within their day-to-day activities.
Instead of thinking that they have become immune, those who have recovered from the virus can help prevent others from going through the same ordeal by sharing the hardships they went through up until the time that they recovered.
It is also worth looking back and reviewing how and why they got infected in the first place so as to effectively avoid committing the same mistakes and another round of infection.
I urge them to learn from the difficulties they encountered while battling COVID-19 and holding on to dear life for at least 14 days.
Please use your second life to influence others to continue observing the minimum health protocols so they can save themselves and others too.
Gaya ng paulit-ulit kong sinasabi, kailangan ko ang tulong ninyong lahat. Walang magmamalasakit sa Maynila kundi tayo ding mga Batang Maynila. Manila, God first!
For updates on latest developments in the city of Manila, please visit my Facebook account— ‘Isko Moreno Domagoso.’