GET VACCINATED. President Rodrigo Duterte invites Filipinos to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in an infomercial released on Wednesday (June 2, 2021). Duterte said people’s participation in the government’s vaccination program is crucial to safely reopen the economy. (Screenshot)

MANILA – President Rodrigo has appeared in a government infomercial to invite Filipinos to get vaccinated against Covid-19, stressing that it is key to beating the ongoing health crisis.

“I invite all our kababayans to be vaccinated at the earliest possible opportunity because this is the most, if not the only way, effective way to defeat Covid-19 pandemic,” Duterte said in a nearly two-minute commercial.

He reminded Filipinos to get vaccinated for themselves as well as their loved ones.

“Let us all keep in mind that the vaccine will not only protect you from the virus, it will also protect your loved ones, especially the sick and elderly,” he added.

Citing the Department of Health’s (DOH) vaccination campaign, Duterte said people’s participation is crucial to safely reopen the economy.

“Your participation in the “Resbakuna: Kasangga ng BIDA” campaign is therefore key if we are to reopen our economy and reclaim our normal lives,” he said.

He also assured that the national government will continue to ensure the health and safety of Filipinos amid the prevailing pandemic.

“To the Filipino people, let me assure you that the government will continue to do its best to protect you until we overcome this health crisis together. Let us heal as one nation. Kapwa Pilipino, magpabakuna na po tayo (My fellow Filipino, let us get vaccinated),” he added.

In a pre-recorded public address on Monday, Duterte urged local government units (LGUs) to make use of technology to reduce queue time among recipients of Covid-19 vaccines.

“Making them queue for an hour or longer exposes them to other risks. Please use technology and advanced approaches to make sure the entire process is more effective,” he said.

He suggested that LGU officials distribute cards with numbers and their assigned time to cut long lines.

Duterte appealed to speed up the vaccination rollout to avoid people from gathering in one area and prevent wastage due to spoilage.

He also directed vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. to ensure equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines across the country.

The country now has four brands of Covid-19 vaccines in its inventory namely Sinovac’s CoronaVac (China), AstraZeneca (UK), Sputnik V (Russia), and Pfizer (US).

More than 5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered since the Philippines launched its vaccination drive on March 1.

The Philippines is aiming to achieve “population protection” against Covid-19 by inoculating 50 to 60 percent of the population with concentration in Metro Manila, two other cities, and six provinces. (PNA)