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Senators willing to get Covid-19 shots to boost public confidence

/ 07:37 PM February 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Several senators have expressed willingness to be vaccinated in order to boost public confidence in the government’s Covid-19 inoculation program, with majority of them saying they would be willing to do so in public.

Senator Manny Pacquiao is “very willing to be vaccinated,” according to his spokesperson Ron Munsayac.

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“In fact last year, the idea came from him personally but we have just to be extra careful and prudent because it may affect his upcoming professional fight,” Munsayac told reporters Friday.

Pacquiao’s camp is currently in talks for a fight against 22-year-old phenom Ryan Garcia. The boxer-turned-politician recently tweeted that “training camp has begun.” 

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Senator Grace Poe said she would “absolutely” be willing to get anti-Covid shots.

“I’d like to say that I hope that we will be able to assure the public that this is our best defense for now against the virus. And I’d like to protect myself as well as my loved ones and the people I work with. I think it’s a responsible step for me to get vaccinated and I encourage those of us who can to have it done,” Poe said in an earlier interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.

Senator Imee Marcos, for her part, said: “Gustong gusto ko magpa-vaccine na makapagtrabaho at makaikot uli! Kahit asthmatic ako habang- buhay, laking grasya makapag bakuna na!”

(I really want to get vaccinated because I want to work and visit communities again. Even though I’m asthmatic, getting vaccinated would be a great blessing.)

The senator said she would be open to getting inoculated in public.

“[K]ung makakatulong sa kumpyansa ng taong bayan na i-publicize ang pag-vaccine ko, bakit hindi?” she said in a message to reporters.

(If it would boost public confidence if I publicize my vaccination, then why not?)

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“Nagtataka ako kung bakit maraming may ayaw—malamang dahil sa pangamba dun sa mga galing Tsina at Russia—pero ite-test naman lahat ng FDA [Food and Drug Administration] muna bago iturok sa mga Pinoy,” she added.

(I’m wondering why a lot of people are wary—maybe because of their concern over vaccines developed in China or Russia—but the FDA will test those vaccines before it can be administered here.)

Senators Christopher “Bong” Go, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Sherwin Gatchalian, Francis Pangilinan and Joel Villanueva also said they are open to getting their vaccine shots in public.

“Yes, [I’m willing to get vaccinated in public]. [W]e need to show faith in our vaccination program. It’s the only thing we have to stop the pandemic,” Villanueva told INQUIRER.net.

Dela Rosa responded with “big YES” when asked. Gatchalian said: “Yes. Definitely!”

Go, meanwhile, said he and President Rodrigo Duterte are willing to get vaccinated in public. For the President’s case, however, the senator said the chief executive would first need clearance from his doctor before he gets publicly inoculated.

“Nagkausap rin po kami ni Pangulong Duterte, kapag nagbigay na po ng clearance ang kanyang mga doktor, ay willing po kami magpabakuna po sa publiko. Siya po bilang Presidente, ako po bilang Senador,” Go, a long-time aide of Duterte, said in statement.

(I talked to the President and if his given clearance by his doctor, then we would be willing to get vaccinated in public. Him as the president and me as a senator.)

“Hindi naman po ibig sabihin kami po ay prayoridad, mas gusto po naming mabakunahan ang mga mahihirap ngunit kailangan nating makuha po ang kumpiyansa ng bawat Pilipino para pumayag din po silang magpabakuna,” he added.

(This does not mean that we are the priority, we want those the poor to get vaccinated but we need to raise confidence among the Filipino people so that they would get vaccinated as well.)

Senator Sonny Angara, a Covid-19 survivor, would also be willing to get vaccinated to boost the government’s inoculation campaign.

“I have to wait for my antibodies to subside as a Covid survivor…but after that, yes, to help the government vaccine campaign,” he said in a message to INQUIRER.net

On the other hand, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said the vaccine priority list should be followed first.

“Let’s follow first the priority list so that there will be no issue. And then those who have recovered from Covid-19 should entertain the idea of letting others get vaccinated first under the assumption that those who have recovered might [still] have immunity to the disease,” he said.

“Anyway given the total number of doses we have ordered I believe there will be enough for everybody,” he added.

Earlier, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he would be vaccinated in public, in an effort to support the nationwide vaccination program and to dispel any public doubt on the jabs to be procured by the government.

JPV
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