Duterte tells anti-vaxxers to stay home

Published May 18, 2021, 2:49 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

As the government moves to accelerate the inoculation drive, President Duterte has appealed to people reluctant to get vaccinated to stay home to avoid getting infected with the coronavirus disease.

A health worker prepares to administer a coronavirus vaccine in Makati City on May 6, 2021 (Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

According to President, these anti-vaxxers or people who oppose vaccination should avoid leaving their houses so they cannot contract the disease or spread the virus to others.

“Kung ayaw n’yong magpabakuna, huwag na kayong lumabas ng bahay para hindi kayo manghawa ng ibang tao (If you don’t want to get vaccinated, please do not leave your houses so you cannot infect other people),” he said during a taped address aired Tuesday, May 17.

Duterte is dismayed with people who refused to get inoculated against the coronavirus disease. He said they were not helping the nation achieve herd immunity.

“Maniwala kayo, Diyos ko po kasi kung hindi, hindi kayo makatulong (Believe me, my God, if not, you’re no help). You will just lengthen the (time to reach) herd immunity,” Duterte said.

He said if people who refuse to be vaccinated just roam outside, it would not be “a far-fetched theory that you will infect although in lesser number but still you do not solve the problems of the country.”

He tried to dispel concerns about the vaccines, saying no one has suffered illness or harm from the inoculation.

The government has started its voluntary vaccination drive last March as vaccine supplies started to arrive in the country. More than 3 million vaccines have already been administered so far as the government attempts to counter vaccine hesitancy among Filipinos.

The President already received the first shot of Sinopharm vaccine but his vaccination drew criticisms since it was an unregistered jab. He has apologized for his action and asked China to take back the 1,000 Sinopharm donated vaccines.

Earlier in his speech, the President warned of a possible reimposition of a stricter lockdown if there will be resurgence of coronavirus cases in the country. He asked the public, including those vaccinated, to obey health protocols amid the threat posed by the new coronavirus variants. He cautioned that vaccinated people can still get sick given the uncertainties of the new strains of the disease.

“Alam mo, ang pag-asa natin is really the obedience, parang boy scout. You want to end the danger of COVID-19 engulfing this country,” he said.

“It does not follow that because you have the COVID-19 vaccine, it does not follow that you cannot be sick again because you can get reinfected pati ng mga bagong variants ngayon which makes our job doubly hard to do,” he added.