Senator Christopher “Bong” Go lauded the national government and the rest of Team Philippines for a successful rollout of the vaccination program on Monday, March 1.
A day after the arrival and official turnover of 600,000 vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from Sinovac Biotech Ltd. which was a donation from China, the government immediately began inoculating pre-identified personnel in six government facilities in Metro Manila, namely Philippine General Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Center and Sanitarium, Veterans Memorial Medical Center, Philippine National Police General Hospital, and Victoriano Luna Medical Center, and kicked off the much-awaited vaccination drive.
The vaccination drive will continue in the coming days in various hospitals around the country. Based on the report of vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., vaccines will be distributed to various regions following the vaccine distribution plan. Visayas and Mindanao will receive vaccines by the end of the week.
Among the first to receive the vaccine was Philippine General Hospital Director Dr. Gerardo “Gap” Legaspi.
“I am happy that today marks a milestone in our journey as one people towards recovery from this pandemic. I commend Team Philippines — our leaders, frontliners and fellow government workers who are working very hard so we can have the best vaccination rollout for our country,” Go added.
Go said also the start of the vaccination program sparks hope for the country to move forward to the new normal and bring back the normal lives and livelihoods of Filipinos.
Aside from the frontliners, some government officials were also vaccinated. Go explained that although these officials are not deemed as priority, the government needs to show to the public that vaccination is safe and effective.
“Maliban sa ating mga magigiting na mga medical frontliners, naging matagumpay din ang pagbakuna sa ilang mga opisyal ng gobyerno hindi dahil sila po ay prayoridad kundi ginawa po nila ito upang maipakita sa publiko na magtiwala po tayo sa bakuna, na tanging bakuna lamang po ang solusyon, tanging bakuna lamang po ang susi upang unti-unti na tayong makabalik sa ating normal na pamumuhay,” he explained.
Among these are Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo, Metro Manila Development Authority Chief Benhur Abalos, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., Testing czar Vince Dizon, and Dr. Edsel Salvana of the Department of Health Technical Advisory Group.
“Huwag kayong matakot sa bakuna, matakot kayo sa COVID-19. Ang bakuna lamang po ang tanging makakapatay sa COVID-19, kaya magtiwala po tayo sa ginagawa ng ating gobyerno,” Go meanwhile said.
“Sisiguraduhin nating safe at epektibo po ang dapat bilhin po ng gobyerno na mga bakuna at ituturok po sa tao. Kunin natin ang kumpiyansa ng bawat Pilipino na tanging bakuna lamang ang solusyon dito sa problema natin kontra COVID-19,” he added.
The Senator, who also sits as the chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, expressed confidence that through these vaccines, the Philippines will be able to move forward.
“Konting tiis lang po, sama-sama tayong makakabangon muli at, tulad ng sinabi ng Pangulo, ‘No Filipino will be left behind’,” he said.
Go also shared that 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access by the World Health Organization are expected to arrive soon.
“’Yun pong mga kababayan natin na wala pong access, hindi nga po alam saan kukunin yung mga bakuna, unahin po natin sila — ‘yung mga isang kahig-isang tuka nating mga kababayan na wala pong inaasahan kundi makabalik po sa normal nating pamumuhay,” Go assured.
Go added that despite the arrival of vaccines in the country, Filipinos must continue to be vigilant and cooperate with the government. He added that Filipinos should not be complacent as the virus still exists.
“Ituloy po natin ang ating bayanihan at pagmamalasakit sa kapwa. We heal as one people. We recover as one nation,” he ended.