Palace: No need to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory just yet
MANILA, Philippines — Although the State has the authority to require people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, there is no need to make vaccination mandatory yet since vaccine supply in the country is still too low, Malacañang said Monday.
“Bilang isang abugado, kabahagi ng police power ng estado ang i-require ang bakuna kung talagang kinakailangan pero sa ngayon naman mukhang hindi naman kinakailangan mandatory yan dahil hinihintay pa natin ang bulto ng ating mga bakuna,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.
(Requiring its citizens to get vaccinated is within the police power of the State but as of now it is not needed yet since we are still waiting for the bulk of vaccines to arrive.)
He issued the remark after Cavite 2nd District Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. filed a bill in the House of Representatives requiring individuals to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to address vaccine distrust in the country.
Under House Bill No. 9252, individuals who refuse to get vaccinated can’t “enter, convene or occupy public places” whether government or privately owned.
Those with medical conditions who are discouraged by their doctors to receive a vaccine will be exempted from the coverage of the proposed law.
Roque, however, clarified that President Rodrigo Duterte has not yet taken a position on the proposed measure.
He said vaccine confidence is up, but supply is short.
“Ang tingin natin ay dumadami na o tumataas na ang vaccine confidence kaya ang problema natin hindi sapat ang bakuna doon sa mga gustong magpabakuna,” he said.
(The faith in vaccines is growing, but there’s a shortage of vaccines in the market.)
As of April 25, the Philippines has 997,523 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 77,075 active cases, 903,665 recoveries, and 16,783 deaths.
The Philippines recently received 500,000 doses of CoronaVac, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech.
The country is set to receive 15,000 Sputnik V doses from Russia’s Gamaleya Institute this Wednesday and 500,000 more CoronaVac shots on Thursday, Roque said.
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