“I implore the public to get vaccinated.”
As many areas in the country shifted to a less strict quarantine level last weekend, thousands of Filipinos flocked malls, public parks, and other public spaces. The apparent excitement of many—families, kids, the youth, the elderly—somewhat led to an alarming general neglect of public health protocols, particularly the required physical distancing.
While we laud and celebrate the downtrend in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, we should not be complacent. We are merely gaining a foothold in containing this pandemic.
One of the significant factors that contributed to this progress is, without doubt, the zealous vaccination drive by the government. As we know by now, vaccines provide a form of protection against COVID-19. Let me reiterate, numerous studies have shown the efficacy of these vaccines in preventing severe and critical COVID-19 infection, much less deaths. While the vaccines do not promise absolute immunity from the disease, available evidence to date has provided that vaccination reduces the risks of COVID-19 infection. Hospitals in the country note that most of the COVID-19 patients they have been admitting are those unvaccinated. Meanwhile, breakthrough infections among vaccinated were reportedly mild. The bottomline: Vaccines work.
Hence, I am imploring the public to get vaccinated. Let me echo the President’s appeal to the public to do their part in order for us to get through and survive this pandemic. While vaccination is not mandatory, I urge my fellow Filipinos to look out for one another by doing what is for the common good. Majority of the cities in the National Capital Region have already achieved 80 to 100 percent full vaccination rate of the target population. In Quezon Province, we have a total of 723,529 individuals vaccinated as of November 4, 2021. With the continuous arrival of vaccines in the country, we are expecting more allocation for the province. We are hopeful that by the end of the year, we will be able to achieve herd immunity among the target population.
I am sure that all of us want to return to normalcy at the soonest possible time. However, we will only be having a ping-pong of surges of cases if we are careless and remiss of the necessary protective measures against this virus. Vaccines are now available. While I do not wish that people be deprived of the intended assistance and benefits from the government, may this be an urgent call to encourage many of you to get the COVID-19 shots.
As governor, I have seen how vaccinations helped the local government units, hospitals, and health facilities breathe from the overflowing patients. I cannot overemphasize how vaccination can relieve the country from the burdens of this pandemic. Once herd immunity is achieved, more industries can be reopened which translates to more jobs, return of income, and, consequently, emergence from recession and poverty.
At the end of the day, we all seek the common good. Let us all do our part. We wanted solutions. Now, we have them. Let us end this pandemic with our collective effort to get vaccinated and conscientiously follow public health protocols.