The Department of Health (DOH) maintained on Thursday, July 7, that vaccination against Covid-19 is not mandatory.
“Gusto natin klaruhin wala pong binigay na statement ang ating gobyerno, ang Kagawaran, na ang ating pagbabakuna ay mandatory (We want to clarify that our government as well as the Department has not issued a statement that our vaccination is mandatory),” said DOH Undersecretary and Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire during a press briefing.
“We also did not give any statement that boosters would become mandatory. Wala po iyan sa ating direksyon, wala rin po iyan sa ating mga pronouncements (That is not part of our direction and is not stated in any of our pronouncements),” she added.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. instructed the DOH during a meeting last Wednesday to think of strategies that can help increase the country’s vaccination coverage, said Vergeire.
“He believes in vaccination, he believes in booster doses. So talagang instruction sa atin ano pa ang pwedeng gawin natin para maipataas pa natin ang antas ng pagbabakuna sa ating bansa (The instruction for us is what else can we do to further raise the level of vaccination in our country),” said Vergeire.
“So, dito nagkaroon ng pag-uusap, dito tumagal ang ating discussions (So, this was part of our discussions—) on strategies on how we can we be able to further improve our vaccine deployment, our vaccine coverage across the country,” she added.
Vergeire said that the DOH and the Office of the President will announce these strategies soon.
“The strategies have been laid out, we just need to further do complete staff work for this so that we can finalize. Mag aanounce tayo kasama ang (We are going to announce these [plans] together with the) Office of the President in the coming days.