President Duterte urged people anew to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), saying most of those who recently died of the disease or from complications from it were probably not vaccinated.
Duterte made the statement as the country reached 52,929 deaths related to COVID-19 after registering 23 new ones on Monday, January 17.
In his pre-recorded public address on Monday evening, the President lamented the deaths caused by COVID-19. However, he said this could have been avoided if those people got vaccinated.
"Pataas nang pataas din ang namatay. Palagay ko kung nabakunado ito, buhay pa hanggang ngayon (The number of deaths is increasing. I think if these people were vaccinated, they would still be alive now)," he said.
"Yung hindi talaga bakunado, patay. Maski Omicron, patay 'yan (Those who are not vaccinated really die. Even if it's Omicron, they will die)," he added.
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is said to be mild compared to the other strains of the virus. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that Omicron is still dangerous for the unvaccinated.
The President assured the public anew that the vaccines are safe after recognizing anew that there are still individuals who refuse to get the shot.
"Nasa inyo 'yan. Nasa tao 'yan, eh. Ayaw makinig (It's up to you. But you don't listen)," he said.
"Wala naman sanang masama kung magpabakuna ka-- except yung tinatamaan ng konting lagnat. But hindi ka mamamatay niyan (There's no harm in getting vaccinated-- except you may run a fever. But you will not die because of it)," he added.
Duterte reiterated that all vaccines being administered to the public are safe.
"Alin man sa mga bakuna, except for the medyo nagkaroon ng ano-- wala naman hong namamatay (Regardless of the vaccine, except you may run a fever-- no one is dying because of the vaccine)," he said.
As of January 16, a total of 118,944,887 vaccine doses have been administered with 55,195,486 individuals completing their vaccination