Filipinos will celebrate a merrier Christmas this year as more coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) vaccines continue to arrive in the country, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Wednesday, June 16.
“We’ll have a merrier/happier Christmas this year because we will be hitting the population protection level before the end of the year. That means at least half of our total population has been vaccinated. Almost all businesses are opened by then and almost all restrictions are eased,’’ Año said.
Despite Año’s assurance, many people including some medical professionals still have no trust on the COVID-19 vaccine efficacy due to its supposed severe side effects.
Nini San Jose, a mother of two admitted not being totally sold on the COVID-19 inoculation due to her allergies to some foods and medicines specifically pointing to the adverse effect the dose had on a popular female broadcaster.
She noted that her reluctance to be injected with the vaccine had caused disagreements and arguments with her husband who already had his first COVID-19 dose this month.
While majority doctors urged people to be vaccinated, some of their colleagues shun the idea claiming that the COVID-19 vaccines have not undergone extensive tests to ensure their efficacy.
Aside from adhering to the minimum health standards, government officials have relentlessly reminded the public that the solution to fight COVID-19 is to be vaccinated stressing the best dose for them is whatever is available.
Meanwhile, Año said that the DILG Central Office in Quezon City was allocated a total of 1,300 doses of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines for the use by its personnel with the inoculation slated on June 16, 17 and 18.
With the vaccine rollout being stepped-up, the DILG chief earlier noted they will deploy more than 50,000 police and fire personnel to provide support and security to the national vaccine rollout that will now include the individuals in the A-4 category this month.
Of these numbers, a total of 35,415 policemen and women of the Philippine National Police (PNP) will provide security during the transport of vaccines nationwide while 13,840 PNP personnel will be tasked with securing various vaccination areas in the country.
The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) will mobilize 2,390 of its personnel and 356 emergency medical service units in 1,150 identified warehouse or cold storage and vaccination sites nationwide as 733 fire trucks and and 59 ambulances are prepositioned in strategic areas.