Duterte urges Filipinos to get vaccinated: ‘COVID-19 is here to stay’

Published August 17, 2021, 2:26 AM

by Raymund Antonio

President Duterte renewed his call for Filipinos to get their COVID-19 jabs, saying that the coronavirus might be here to stay “for years.”

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his regular public address to the nation on August 16, 2021. (RTVM Screenshot)

The Chief Executive urged the public to get vaccinated at the “first opportunity.”

“It might save your life,” he said during his weekly Talk to the People, aired from Monday night to early Tuesday morning.

The President added that the virus will just circulate in the air for years, so Filipinos will need to continue wearing masks and having limited social contacts.

This will be how Filipinos will live in the years to come, he said.

As of August 15, the country has fully vaccinated 12,565,017 people, or 11.4 percent of the population. Some 15,241,864 people, or 13.8 percent of the population, already received their first dose.

With the country now averaging almost 500,000 jabs a day, herd immunity or the inoculation of 70 percent of the population will be achieved by April 2022.

The country’s vaccination drive has sped up in the past month as vaccines started pouring in from global vaccine-sharing facility COVAX, as well as donations from the United States, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Millions of the government’s procurement of China’s Sinovac vaccine will also arrive this August.