Get vaccinated ASAP, public urged; PH in race vs COVID variants

Published May 28, 2021, 2:02 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government is urging more people to get vaccinated as soon as possible in a bid to outrun the worrisome emergence of new coronavirus variants.

A health worker gives a coronavirus vaccine shot to a resident at a drive-through vaccination site in Makati City on May 7, 2021 (Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

According to Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, people should receive the coronavirus vaccine regardless of the brand to boost their protection against the virus.

“Well ito ay isang dahilan kung bakit kinakailangan na yung pwede na magpabakuna na po (This is one of the reasons why people must get vaccinated). We are racing against the new variants,” Roque said over government television Friday, May 28.

“Uulitin ko po talagang nakakabahala itong ang bagong variants ( I repeat the new variants are really disturbing),” he added.

He recalled that when the first new coronavirus strains were detected in the country last February, the cases of infections have soared to an alarming rate.

Among the new variants in the country were the dangerous strains first detected in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, and India. The case spike, which breached the 1-million mark last April, prompted the government to revert to strict lockdowns, including tighter movement restrictions, to slow down the transmission.

“Bagamat napapababa na natin ngayon, hindi na tayo bumaba don sa numero bago nga pebrero, bago nagkaroon ng new variants (Although we managed to bring down the cases, we have not brought it back to the number prior to February, prior to the entry of the new variants),” Roque said.

Apart from vaccination, Roque appealed anew to the public to continue to observe health protocols, including wearing of masks and observing safe distancing, to avoid the virus spread.

“Ang panawagan nati naririyan na ang bakuna, huwag na mag-atubili. Huwag na mag-antay magpabakuna na kung puwede na (Our appeal is the vaccines are here so do not hesitate to get vaccinated. Don’t wait to get vaccinated if it is already possible),” the Palace official said.

As of May 27, the country reported 6,483 cases of coronavirus that pushed the total recorded cases to 1,131,942. The country’s death toll reached 20, 379.

The country’s vaccination drive meantime had a slow start due to the limited vaccine supply. Over 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered since the drive started early March. From this number, around 1 million people have so far been fully vaccinated.

The government originally aimed to inoculate 58 million people to attain herd immunity before the end of the year. It later tweaked its vaccination target, this time eyeing to vaccinate 9.7 million people in Metro Manila to reach “population protection” by late November 2021.