Press Release
June 6, 2021

Bong Go reiterates need for intensified education campaign to raise awareness, compliance, and public confidence in the national COVID-19 vaccine roadmap

In an interview after he attended the launch of the 117th Malasakit Center at the Philippine Orthopedic Center in Quezon City, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go reiterated the need to intensify the education campaign to raise awareness, compliance, and public confidence in the national COVID-19 vaccine roadmap.

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go reminded Filipinos to complete their COVID-19 doses following reports from the pandemic task force that only one million out of 2.1 million who had their first dose returned for their second dose.

Go said that he has talked to President Rodrigo Duterte about the matter. According to Go, the President emphasized that an intensified information campaign about the vaccines is needed to further encourage those who have been vaccinated to complete their doses.

"Napag-usapan po namin ni Pangulong Duterte kagabi po mismo 'yan po. Sabi ko, 'Mr. President, mga isang milyon pa po ang hindi bumabalik, nagpapabakuna.' Sabi niya education campaign, information na magtiwala sa bakuna," said Go.

"Baka akala nila isang dose tapos na. 'Wag kayo maging kumpiyansa. Bumalik kayo. Dapat nga dalawang doses po para talagang protektado kayo. Bagama't hindi tayo nagsisiguradong, 'di kayo mahawa pero mape-prevent po ang severe cases po. Ang nakakatakot dito, severe cases," he added.

The Department of Health explained in a statement that the said figures are from independent assessments by experts, and may not necessarily reflect the situation on the ground. The DOH also mentioned that actual numbers show only roughly 113,000 individuals or 9% of those vaccinated deferred their second dose.

Common reasons cited for missing out on the second dose are getting sick, exposure to COVID-19, or undergoing quarantine.

Meanwhile, Go continues to remind the public to strictly adhere to health protocols while the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases re-evaluates its guidelines such as the need for the face shield-wearing policy.

"Hintayin lang po natin. Pinapa-evaluate na po ni Pangulong Duterte sa IATF, sa health experts kung nararapat na bang tanggalin ang face shield," said Go.

Go added that he will trust whatever the recommendation of health experts will be regarding the matter.

"Ako naman po ay sumasang-ayon sa ating health experts kung ano ang magiging rekomendasyon nila. Kaya nandiyan sila, sila po ang eksperto dito. Ibig sabihin, eksperto po sa larangan ng kalusugan. So, sila ang nakakaalam," he said.

"Hintayin natin kung ano ang magiging rekomendasyon nila," he added.

Meanwhile, regardless of quarantine restrictions or classifications, Go called for continued compliance, cooperation and vigilance of Filipinos to deter COVID-19 spread.

"Mga kababayan ko, 'wag kayong maging kumpyansa. 'Di porke't bakunado na ang tabi mo, kumpiyansa na kayo, mask pa rin habang meron pang isang kaso ng COVID-19. 'Wag kayong maging kumpiyansa dahil maaaring ang isang kaso na 'yan, kakalat po 'yan at marami ang madadamay. Kaya habang patuloy tayong nagbabakuna, mask muna tayo at social distancing," he reminded.

He also continues to remind the public to fear COVID-19, not the vaccines, stressing that the success of the vaccination program is key towards the return to normalcy in the country.

"Pakiusap ko, mga kababayan ko, disiplina muna. Tulungan n'yo ang ating gobyerno. Mask, face shield, social distancing, hugas ng kamay at magtiwala kayo sa bakuna. Marami pang 'di nagpapabakuna sa inyo. Magpabakuna na kayo. Ito lang po ang susi at solusyon para po unti-unti na tayong makabalik (sa normal)," he said.

"Kung gusto n'yo po makabalik na tayo sa normal na pamumuhay, magtiwala kayo sa bakuna. 'Yun po ang solusyon sa ngayon. 'Yun lamang po ang tanging solusyon o susi para ma-achieve natin ang herd immunity sa community," he added.

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