MANILA – Malacañang on Monday urged those getting Covid-19 “booster shots” to wait for the country to achieve population protection first before receiving more than the required number of jabs.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this call following reports that some individuals were receiving more than their single or two-dose Covid vaccines.
“Hindi po natin kinukunsiti ‘yan dahil marami pa pong hindi nababakunahan. So ang pakiusap po natin lahat naman po ng bakuna nagbibigay proteksyon so antayin muna po natin magkaroon ng bakuna ang karamihan ng ating mga kababayan bago tayo mag booster shot (We do not tolerate that because there are so many individuals that have yet to be vaccinated. Since all vaccines provide protection, our appeal is to wait for majority of our citizens to get fully vaccinated before receiving booster shots),” he said in a Palace press briefing.
Roque said life can only return to normal once the country is able to reduce the number of deaths and hospitalized patients through vaccination.
“Ang bakuna lang po talaga ang magiging dahilan para matapos na ‘tong pandemyang ito. Hayaan na muna natin magkaroon ng population protection ang lahat bago po tayo mag booster shots (Vaccines are the only solution to put an end to this pandemic. Let us achieve population protection before we get our booster shots),” he added.
Roque said only overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and seafarers will be given the exception of selecting western Covid-19 brands to comply with requirements set by their employers.
“Siguro we can make an exception doon sa mga OFW, yung mga seafarers na kinakailangang magpabakuna ng mga western brands dahil ‘yun naman po ay requirement ng kanilang mga employers (Perhaps we can make an exception for OFWs and seafarers because that is the requirement of their employers),” he said.
He also urged OFWs and seafarers to only receive Covid-19 vaccine brands required by their employers so as not to receive more than one brand.
“Kung kayo po ay isang seafarer na alam ninyong kinakailangan niyo ng particular brand, huwag na po kayo magpa-inject ng iba pang brand. Kumuha na po kayo nung brand ri-ni-ire-require ng inyong mga employers nang sa ganun, maibigay naman po natin yung ibang mga bakuna dun sa ibang nangangailangan din (If you are a seafarer and know that you need a particular brand, don’t get inoculated with a different brand. Get the brand required by your employers so we can give other brands to those who are also in need),” he added.
Earlier, National Task Force Against Covid-19 Deputy Chief Implementer and testing czar Vince Dizon said the government eyes the complete vaccination of at least 50 percent of Metro Manila residents by end of August.
The government initially planned to vaccinate up to 70 million people to achieve population protection by yearend.
However, the government adjusted its target by inoculating 50 to 60 percent of the population with concentration in Metro Manila, two other cities, and six provinces before 2022. (PNA)