Getting vaccinated may not be a guarantee of avoiding a coronavirus infection especially with the threat posed by new variants, according to President Duterte.
Even as he urged people to get vaccinated, the President has appealed to the public including those vaccinated to keep their guard up and obey health protocols to stem the virus spread.
Duterte issued the statement after warning of a possible reimposition of a stricter lockdown in the event of a resurgence of coronavirus cases due to the new variants. He was worried that the pandemic was “getting hotter” and “dangerous” due to the emergence of new strains.
“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 mga bagong variants ngayon which makes our job doubly hard to do,” Duterte said in a taped message aired on state television Tuesday, May 18.
“The pandemic is getting hotter and it’s getting to be dangerous also because maraming variants naglabas ngayon: India, UK, Africa. And ‘pag nag-mutate ito, nag-iba ang anyo, we will have a problem now with discovering new vaccines,” he added.
Duterte assured the nation that the health authorities are already studying the new variants and finding ways how to stem its spread through the vaccines.
“Pag-aralan muna y’an (They will study it). They will work on the bakuna (vaccines) with how long, we don’t know including itong ating team sa Philippines (including the team in the Philippines), they are at it,” he said.
Although he wanted the nation to brace for the “worst” in the face of the new variants, Duterte remained hopeful that there will not be any widespread outbreak in the country.
“We just pray no widespread contamination can occur so that it will not pull us down again in the matter of many sick Filipinos,” he said.