Apart from protecting the people against the severe form of Covid-19, booster jabs also play a crucial role in ending the pandemic, health reform advocate and former special adviser of the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 Dr. Anthony “Tony” Leachon said.
Among the strategies that may help end the Covid-19 pandemic is to increase the vaccination and booster rate of Filipinos. This, according to Leachon, may actually be achieved within the first 100 days of incoming President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s administration.
“Kailan matatapos ang pandemya? Nakasalalay po ‘yan sa booster natin. Ngayon, kung president-elect Bongbong Marcos ay imamandato to all cabinet members, employees, private sector, schools, medical community , ay maaaring (When will the pandemic end? That depends on our booster rate. Now, if president-elect Bongbong Marcos mandates the vaccination to all cabinet members, employees, private sector, schools, medical communities, we could hit almost 70 or 80 percent of the vaccination rate in 100 days),” said Leachon in an interview over DZRH on Saturday, June 25.
Leachon, in the same interview, said that Filipinos should not just wait for the pandemic to end, adding that it has been more than two years since the country has been placed under a public health emergency.
“It has been more than two years since the Philippines was placed under a state of public health emergency, masamang stigma po ‘yan for the country. Hindi tayo pwedeng laging nasa pandemic. Kailangan ng deadline kung kailan matatapos (It has been more than two years since the Philippines was placed under a state of public health emergency. That brings a stigma to the country. We cannot always be in a pandemic. We need a deadline on when it will end),” he furthered.
Making Filipinos resilient, responsible amid the pandemic
The controversial mask-wearing mandate was also discussed by the expert, reiterating that among the country’s health protocols, this would be the last one to be lifted.
“Ang mask, ito ang last one to go. Ang kailangan nating gawin ay to make the Filipinos resilient and responsible. Hindi tayo dapat magbilang lang nang magbilang ng cases. Kung hindi tayo tatawag ng deadline ay open ended din yan (The mask, this will be the last one to go. What we need to do is make the Filipinos resilient and responsible. We should not just count and count cases. If we do not call for a deadline, this will remain open ended),” said Leachon.
The health reform advocate likewise reiterated that the country will not be able to move forward with the long desired economic recovery if Filipinos are always afraid.
“Kailangan matapos yan by protecting the Filipinos and making them resilient by completing the booster program (We must end this by protecting FIlipinos and making them resilient by completing the booster program),” he added.