With the forthcoming resumption of in-person classes later this month and the reopening of the domestic economy, it is expedient that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has stressed the importance of vaccination or booster protection against COVID-19.
Verily, conducting face-to-face classes is not that simple, and the President is on track in emphasizing that this could be done successfully with proper presentation.
We agree, as the President has said in his YouTube vlog, that we must ensure everyone has availed themselves of booster shots, particularly the young in the population to be sure their bodies are ready when they return to school.
The Department of Education earlier announced that academic year 2022-2023 will officially begin on August 22, and with a target of 203 school days the school year will end on July 7, 2023.
The President has noted that about 15.2 million learners are expected to enroll this school year, interestingly a little less than the number of about 15.9 million who have received their first booster shots while only 1.2 million have received their second booster shots.
The President himself has said these numbers are not yet good compared to the government’s target of 100 percent, reason the national government keeps telling the local governments “to be more aggressive” in this campaign to have the booster shots.
Earlier on, President Marcos said there was no need for a law making booster shots mandatory but maintained that the jabs help a lot in preventing severe COVID-19 cases.
Very recently, the national government launched the “PinasLakas” campaign aimed at administering COVID-19 booster shots to 23.8 million persons within Marcos’ first 100 days in office from June 30 when he took his presidential oath.
The President said: “If this campaign succeeds, it would not only mean a return to school but also a return of businesses, livelihood and development (and) will be a huge help to our extensive efforts to reopen the economy.”
And then the other day health authorities reported 4,203 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the number of confirmed cases in this country reeling from various subvariants of the coronavirus to 3,808,156.
The Department of Health said the number of active cases rose further to 37,942, and 30 more patients died from COVID-19 complications, pushing the death toll to 60,807, reporting additionally more than 4,000 daily caseload for the fifth straight day.
Guido David, a professor at the University of the Philippines and OCTA research fellow, said the infections will continue until the next few months, citing a “very high” positivity rate of over 20 percent in several areas.
The positivity rate is the percentage of people who test positive for the virus of those who have been tested. The key rate hit record high at 47.9 percent in January this year.
The Philippines reported its highest COVID-19 single-day tally of 39,004 new cases on Jan. 15. The country, with a population of around 111 million.
We are glad that under the PinasLakas drive, the Department of Health is targeting to fully vaccinate 70 percent of the population or 78.1 million Filipinos and provide first boosters to 50 percent of the eligible population.