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Villar, Binay bicker over restrictions on vaccinated seniors

/ 01:37 PM May 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senators Cynthia Villar and Nancy Binay were at loggerheads on Tuesday as to whether or not to ease the restrictions being imposed by the government on vaccinated senior citizens.

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During the hearing of the Senate committee on economic affairs, Villar questioned the need to continue keeping already inoculated elderly people locked down in their houses, arguing that it defeats the purpose of their vaccination.

Villar said that the seniors should at least be allowed to eat out.

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“Vaccinated na sila [They’re vaccinated already]. Why did you vaccinate them if you will not allow them to get out?” he said. “It’s ironical that you give priority to them then you will not allow them to go out… Baka naman maloko na ‘yon sa bahay.” (They might go crazy if they are not allowed out much longer.)

Binay, however, countered that allowing the elderly outside might trigger superspreader events even though they have already received protection from vaccines.

She explained that senior citizens were prioritized to get the vaccine against COVID-19 because they are the ones who are more at risk of catching the virus and more vulnerable to severe cases.

“Kaya sila yung pinapabakunahan, kasi sila po yung pwedeng mamatay when they get the virus,” she said.

(The reason they are being prioritized for vaccination is because they are the ones who could die when they get the virus.)

“Yung mga senior citizens natin sila yung pwedeng mag-cause ng collapse ng health system natin kasi sila yung prone [to get COVID],” she stressed.

(Our senior citizens can cause the collapse of our health system because they are the ones prone to get COVID.)

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But Villar insisted that getting vaccinated should have afforded them protection from severe illness due to COVID-19.

“If you are vaccinated, the assurance of the vaccination is that you don’t have to go to the hospital. If at all, it should just be slight flu, but never death and never serious COVID illnesses,” she said.

“Hindi ko nga maintindihan na yung 65, anybody beyond 65, ‘di pwedeng lumabas kahit na vaccinated. Maliit na ang risk mo doon e. Flu lang, not death or serious COVID illness,” she added.

(I cannot understand why those 65 and beyond cannot go out even though they are already vaccinated. They face little risk. They can only suffer from mild flu, not death or serious COVID illness.)

Binay, in answer, pointed out that inoculated seniors can still infect other people.

“Kaso lang ho kasi, yung senior citizens can be a spreader. Kasi nga yung vaccine ho can only protect yung nabakunahan, from severe [illness],” Binay said.

(However, our senior citizens can be a spreader. Because the vaccine can only protect from severe illness those who have been vaccinated.)

To this, Villar claimed that everyone, regardless of age, can also be considered as spreaders.

“Lahat tayo spreader… bakit naman mo pinagbawalan ang senior citizens?” she said.

(All of us are spreaders… why would you single out senior citizens from going out?)

“Everybody is like that, kawawa naman yung mga senior citizen [I feel bad for the senior citizens],” Villar further said.

Senator Imee Marcos, who chairs the Senate committee, agreed with Villar, saying that she finds prohibiting senior citizens to go out, even if they already received their COVID-19 vaccine “defies logic.”

“Mahirap ipaliwanag sa ating mag señioritas at señioritos [It would be hard to explain that to our seniors],” Marcos said.

EDV

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TAGS: coronavirus Philippines, coronavirus vaccines, Senator Cynthia Villar, Senator Nancy Binay, senior citizens
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