MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday encouraged his fellow Filipinos to get inoculated with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines, reassuring them that these are “safe” and will play a key role in reopening the Philippine economy.
Duterte made the call following the arrival of 487,200 doses of Covid-19 vaccines developed by the United Kingdom’s AstraZeneca in the Philippines.
During the turnover rites of AstraZeneca vaccines at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, Duterte said Covid-19 jabs should be administered to Filipinos the “soonest time possible.”
“I would like to appeal to all our kababayans (countrymen), please get vaccinated against Covid-19 and be the [government’s] partner in preventing further spread of the disease. I encourage you to get vaccinated as a soonest possible time. These vaccines are safe and they are the key to reopening our society,” he said.
The Philippines is expected to receive around 44 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through the Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility, a global initiative that guarantees access to Covid-19 vaccines worldwide.
The 487,200 vials of AstraZeneca’s vaccine delivered to the Philippines on Thursday were developed in South Korea and donated by Germany, the European Union, Norway, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, and Greece.
The distribution of Covid-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca will commence after repackaging.
Boosting vaccination drive
Duterte was elated that the Philippines was able to receive AstraZeneva vaccines through COVAX facility.
“Let me thank you, to our key partners in the entire international community represented by their ambassadors tonight. Their cooperation in public health is very much needed. Positive engagement is very much welcome,” he said.
Prior to the delivery of AstraZeneca vaccines to the Philippines, the country also received on Sunday some 600,000 doses of Covid-vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech.
The Philippines kicked off its mass vaccination program on Monday, a day after Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccines arrived in the country.
Duterte said the delivery of AstraZeneca vaccines would further boost the Philippine government’s ongoing national vaccination program.
“I also assure the Filipino people that their government will continue working to ensure the immediate distribution of the available vaccines to the communities,” he said.
Continue following health protocols
Duterte maintained that public acceptance of vaccines would help the country recover from the adverse impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
Duterte reminded Filipinos that they still need to observe the health protocols imposed by the government.
“Let us continue observing and practicing health and safety protocols while waiting for more Covid-19 vaccines to reach the Philippines. We may not be out of the woods yet but we are making progress and the end is in sight, and with your cooperation, we will overcome this pandemic and ensure the health and safety of everyone,” he said.
Duterte reiterated that no one is safe until everyone cooperates to ensure the successful fight against Covid-19.
“As I have said before, these vaccines should be treated as a global public good. the need for international solidarity and cooperation cannot be made clearer than this pandemic because no one is safe globally until everyone is safe,” he said. (PNA)
Credit belongs to : www.pna.gov.ph