President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday led the vaccination of healthcare workers against COVID-19 using bivalent vaccines to protect the vulnerable sector and as a way of honoring the frontliners “who have worked hard so that the world could return to a state of normalcy.”
In his speech during the launch of the bivalent COVID-19 vaccination at the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City, the Chief Executive underscored the importance of the government’s inoculation program to protect those with comorbidities and the elderly.
He acknowledged all the country’s partners and stakeholders who played a significant part in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic when he joined the Department of Health (DOH) officers at the program.
He also expressed heartfelt gratitude to the World Health Organization (WHO) and COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) for their continued assistance to the country during and after the pandemic.
Above all, the President honored the vaccine manufacturers, scientists, healthcare workers, and all those “whose sacrifices led the world to a state of normalcy.”
Mr. Marcos said that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is not only good for the one who received it, but is also good for the protection of one’s family and the general public.
“So, we must not let our guard down. Although the rest of society – the other sectors of our society have tried to move on and say the emergency is over, and certainly in a way we can say that is the case. However, it is not over completely,” the President said.
“And that is why we should not be complacent and that is why we institute programs like this, which continue to seek to protect our vulnerable populace, (the) vulnerable sectors of our populace, and that particular demographic in this case is that of the elderly,” he added.
President Marcos also urged the citizens to honor the scientists, manufacturers, and healthcare workers who have dedicated their lives to coming up with vaccines against COVID-19 “and taking care of those who caught the virus.”
“Let this occasion serve as a call to every Filipino to continue doing your part [and] get updated on your COVID-19 vaccination to prevent a resurgence, (and) as a means of honoring those who sacrificed their lives during the pandemic,” he added.
Mr. Marcos also assured the Filipinos that the government is using science-based strategies and a whole-of-society approach in administering the COVID-19 vaccines to the public.
He also urged newly appointed DOH Secretary Teodoro Herbosa to fortify the Department’s efforts to protect the Filipino people against all health risks.
“I urge all of us to remain relentless in our fight against COVID-19 and all other infectious diseases that threaten the country,” Mr. Marcos said.
“As long as we exhibit discipline, observe cleanliness and practice cooperation, we will overcome the residual challenges that are still posed by COVID-19 and emerge stronger than ever as members of a healthy, resilient, and productive Philippine society,” he added.
Records from the DOH showed that the Philippines has fully vaccinated 100.44 percent of the target population and inoculated 30.49 percent of the target population with the first booster doses.
With this, the DOH was prompted to continue securing supplies of the bivalent vaccines in coordination with the COVAX and with other countries to protect the Filipino people from the virus and prevent its possible resurgence and transmission.
The DOH has so far received 391,860 doses of Comirnaty Pfizer-BioNtech-adapted bivalent vaccines from Lithuania on June 3, which was allocated to all DOH-Centers for Health Development and the Ministry of Health-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The bivalent vaccines will be given as 3rd booster dose to the priority groups, such as healthcare workers and the elderly, and shall be administered in designated health facilities.
According to DOH guidelines, healthcare workers and senior citizens who received their second booster shots at least 4 to 6 months ago are eligible for the first phase of the bivalent vaccine rollout.
— Vince Lopez
Credit belongs to : www.manilastandard.net