Press Release
January 25, 2022

Bong Go hails hard-fought gains in vaccination efforts; calls for stronger cooperation, increased vigilance to achieve pandemic recovery

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go called for continued cooperation and vigilance among Filipinos in order to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. He stressed the government's position to strike a delicate balance between Filipinos' collective health and economy recovery efforts to overcome this crisis.

"While daily numbers of new COVID-19 cases remain high, we are also cautiously calibrating the conduct of businesses and activities to sustain our economy and our people's livelihood," Go said.

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go recently commended the government's efforts to fast-track vaccination accompanied by information campaigns on the COVID-19 vaccines after a new poll found vaccine hesitancy among adult Filipinos have dropped to a single-digit percentage.

"I truly believe that vaccination holds the key to our return to our normal lives. We must be able to protect ourselves from the severe effects of this virus and death so we can remain healthy and safe," he stressed.

"This is indeed welcomed news so that we can inoculate more Filipinos and further protect them from harm. Let us ramp up our information campaign to educate and convince every citizen about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine so more and more will be willing to take their respective jabs," he added.

The December 2021 SWS survey showed that only 8% of adult Filipinos are still reluctant to get inoculated. This is significantly lower than the 18% in September, 21% in June, and 33% in May of last year.

The lawmaker, however, noted that there is a lot more work to do. He urged authorities to find new and creative solutions to increase the vaccine uptake, particularly among at-risk groups, to slow the surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

"I urge our national and local officials to be creative and innovative in finding ways to reach every willing member of their community as soon as possible. If we have to, let us visit every household in every barangay to ensure that every eligible Filipino is being taken into account when it comes to the vaccination program," Go further appealed.

As of January 23, a total of 215.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in the country. The government has administered more than 123 million doses. Nearly 57.3 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated while 59.8 million have obtained their first dose. Another 6.3 million individuals have also received their booster shots.

"Once again, I am pleading to every unvaccinated Filipino...It has already been proven by science that the vaccines can drastically reduce our chance of developing severe illness and even death arising from COVID-19. So let us take every ounce of protection that we can so we can live fully and protect others along the way," appealed Go.

On this note, the senator reminded concerned authorities to reinforce measures to curb the spread of the virus. He reiterated the need for Filipinos' continued cooperation, pointing out that initiatives such as the "No Vax, No Ride" policy must be properly explained to the public to avoid confusion.

"As I have mentioned before, this is just one of the many pandemic measures--which includes guidelines on non-essential travels, health protocols, and activities, among others--that we have to implement to regulate the transmission of the virus. Let us all do our part to protect ourselves and others so that this pandemic can finally end," said Go.

In the end, the lawmaker once again lauded the country's healthcare workers and volunteers who continue to lead the fight against the pandemic.

He also thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for recently approving the release of P1.185 billion for the COVID-19 Special Risk Allowance of eligible private HCWs and non-Department of Health plantilla personnel who are catering to or are in direct contact with COVID-19 patients.

"Let us ensure that our heroic healthcare workers are being taken care of and well compensated for they provide a crucial role in our fight against this pandemic," said Go.

"Let us give them the proper support they need as they face unprecedented dangers in the performance of their duties. In the remaining months of the Duterte Administration, I assure you that we will always be on top of the situation and we will pursue every solution to bounce back and return to our normal lives once and for all," he vowed.

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