MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday urged the Filipino people to participate in the Department of Health’s (DOH) intensified coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination program.
Marcos made the call during the DOH’s launch of the bivalent Covid-19 vaccines in a program held at the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) in Quezon City.
“Let this occasion serve as a call to every Filipino to continue doing your part, get updated on your Covid-19 vaccination, to prevent the resurgence as a means of honoring those who sacrificed their lives during the pandemic,” he said.
“I thus appeal to everyone, especially those who have yet to receive their primary series of vaccinations to get vaccinated against Covid-19. This is not for your own good alone but also for the protection of your families and the general public.”
Before the formal launch of the bivalent vaccines, Marcos also had a quick tour of the vaccination booth at the PHC.
Earlier this month, the Philippines received about 390,000 bivalent vaccine doses from Lithuania.
The DOH has already distributed the first batch of donated bivalent vaccines to the department’s regional centers nationwide.
Based on DOH guidelines, healthcare workers and senior citizens who received their second booster shots at least four to six months ago are eligible for the first phase of the bivalent vaccine rollout.
Marcos thanked Lithuania for its donation of bivalent Covid-19 vaccines to the Philippines.
“The Philippines conveys its gratitude to the government of the Republic of Lithuania for the generosity and their donation of the country’s first batch of bivalent vaccines,” he said.
“Rest assured that this government under this administration treasures that special relationship and your act of generosity today will certainly not go unnoticed or ever be forgotten.”
Marcos also thanked the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) for its continuing assistance to the Philippines.
‘Don’t be complacent’
The President noted that while the WHO proclaimed the end of Covid-19 as a public health emergency, his administration would not let its guard down, considering that the disease continues to exist.
“Although the rest of the society, the other sectors of our society have tried to move on and say the emergency is over, certainly in a way we can say that is the case. However, it is not over completely, and that is why we should not be complacent,” he said.
Marcos said the government would continue implementing programs aimed at protecting Filipinos who are part of the vulnerable sector, including people with co-morbidities and senior citizens.
He said the Covid-19 risks “remain manageable,” with the use of “science-based strategies and a whole-of-society approach.”
“It cannot be denied that vaccines have played an integral role in our fight against Covid-19. And so that is why it is important that I come to be with you as we launch the bivalent vaccination campaign of the DOH as we strive to finally eradicate severe disease from Covid-19,” Marcos said.
He likewise thanked the health care workers, national government agencies, and local government units for their contributions to making the Covid-19 vaccination drive successful.
“I urge all of us to remain relentless in our fight against Covid-19 and all other infectious diseases that threaten the country,” he said.
“As long as we exhibit discipline, observe cleanliness, and practice cooperation, we will overcome the residual challenges that still are posed by Covid-19 and emerge stronger than ever as members of a healthy, resilient, and productive Philippine society.” (PNA)