In an apparent reaction to President Rodrigo Duterte’s warning on jab rejection, Rizal 2nd District Rep. Fidel Nograles urged the Department of Health to further boost government’s pro-vaccination messaging by lifting stringent safety protocols for vaccinated people by allowing them to play basketball and exempting them from curfew hour restrictions.
In a press statement, Nograles said DOH must consider giving those who are willing to get the complete jab dosage added benefits compared to those who are still indifferent to government’s vaccine program against the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection.
In a press statement, Nograles said the DOH must focus on telling the public what a vaccinated citizen can do as compared to those who have yet to complete their anti-COVID 19 jabs.
Nograles, vice chairman of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education, proposed granting fully inoculated people exemption from certain stringent public health and safety protocols to encourage others to get the COVID-19 jab.
“In fact,” he added, “we can even further highlight advantages by revising some of our policies and protocols. We can probably exempt those who have completed their vaccine doses to the curfew being imposed now due to the pandemic. Considering the vaccination card as some form of a passport to ease travel and movement may also be considered.”
He said fully vaccinated individuals should be allowed to return to physical activities that are currently disallowed to present the spread of the COVID-19, such as playing basketball and other close contact sports.
“Allowing more sports activities will even make our people healthier,” he further said.
Nograles aired these suggestion a day after President Duterte threatened to throw in jail Filipinos who continue to reject the anti-COVID-19 vaccines offered by government.
Nograles underscored the need for the country to achieve herd immunity at the shortest time possible.
“We know that the people of DOH, especially our frontline healthcare workers, are committed in achieving herd immunity for the Filipino people. However, we have heard that some of our citizens fail to show up for their second jabs while others, which is worse, completely shun our vaccination program,” lamented Nograles.
The administration lawmaker said: “In line with this, I suggest that the government make the practical advantages of being vaccinated the center of our messaging. In focusing on the what’s-in-it-for-me part, more people will understand how being vaccinated helps them in everyday life.”
He explained that some of the practical advantages the DOH can concentrate on are being able to worry less about contracting severe COVID or being less contagious which in effect protects our loved ones at home.
“I’m sure our public health experts can think of more ways to highlight vaccine advantages so we can truly send our message across. I can assure our health officials and healthcare workers that I am with them in the pursuit of ensuring everyone is protected so we will soon be back to the new normal,” Nograles stated.