News Release

PBBM: Get COVID-19 vaccines to protect vulnerable sector, honor those who sacrificed so we can return to a state of normalcy

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. urged the Filipino people on Wednesday to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as their way of protecting the vulnerable sector and their way of honoring individuals 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, President Marcos underscored the importance of the government’s vaccination program to protect the vulnerable groups, or those with comorbidities and the elderly.

President 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,” President Marcos 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 Filipino people to honor the scientists, manufacturers and healthcare workers who have dedicated their lives to coming up with the vaccines against COVID-19 and taking care of those who caught the virus.

“We certainly owe a debt as well to our vaccine manufacturers, our scientists, our healthcare workers, and everyone who gave so much, so that the world could return to a state of normalcy,” the chief executive told the public.

“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.

The chief executive assured the Filipino people 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 Sec. Ted Herbosa to fortify the Department’s efforts to protect the Filipino people against all health risks as he thanked the local government officials, the healthcare workers and the national government agencies for their dedication to serving the people amid the pandemic.

“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 are still posed by COVID-19 and emerge stronger than ever as members of a healthy, resilient and productive Philippine society,” he added.

President Marcos also thanked the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for their generosity and their donation of the country’s first batch of bivalent vaccines as he hopes to further deepen the cooperation between the Philippines and Lithuania.

The chief executive also thanked the World Health Organization (WHO) and the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) for their continuing assistance to the Philippines during and after the pandemic.

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 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 the Government of the Republic of 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 elderlies who are 18 years old and above and shall be administered in designated health facilities. *[PND]*