Filipinos must think of country, get COVID-19 booster shots — Concepcion
MANILA, Philippines — What should be the best encouragement for Filipinos to get their COVID-19 booster shots?
A sense of nationalism, Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said on Friday.
He pointed out that Filipinos are currently very lax against the fight against COVID-19 due to the low number of infections, which Concepcion said, they have mistaken as being in the “endemic state” already.
This is why the public is not so much amped up to get their booster shots, thinking they are safe from COVID-19 already.
“I think people are just so confident that we’re in the endemic state. True enough, we’re moving towards that but we’re still getting there. If people want to remove the mask and whenever I go out, people have put down their masks in parties, out there. That creates more risks,” he said in an interview on ABS CBN News Channel.
“But for us to be able to have that freedom, we have to take the booster shots. You know, when people are comfortable, they say ‘I’ll just take my booster when cases start going up,’ but not realizing that these vaccines are time-bound and the government has purchased it and it’s in the Philippines already,” Concepcion added.
Filipinos should have a sense of nationalism and think they are helping the country if they take their booster shots, Concepcion noted.
“People themselves have to think of their country. And the boosters will help their country. There has to be something in them, a sense of nationalism to really take this booster shot,” he said.
“Because we want to protect our livelihoods and the lives of our people because as we open up, the risk goes higher definitely,” he added.
To further encourage Filipinos to have their booster shots, Concepcion said he has proposed greater mobility for those who have taken theirs already, meaning they can go about more freely than those not boosted yet.
However, he admitted this proposal has met some resistance in the country’s economic team, who, he said, expressed concern over the possible weakening of economic activity from restricting the movement of those who have yet to get their booster dose.
“I’ve proposed greater mobility for those boosted, but of course there is some resistance in the economic team because they’re concerned that the economic activity will weaken,” he said.
“I believe differently because we did that earlier. But unless we try to put more pressure on our citizens to take the boosters, I don’t know if we’ll be able to reach 500,000 or one million jabs a day,” Concepcion added.
He said the government must be able to administer at least 500,000 booster shots a day to be able to reach the target of giving boosters to 80 million Filipinos by June.
According to the Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, only 12.9 million Filipinos have gotten their booster dose as of April 18.
This is far behind from the 66.9 million Filipinos who have already completed their two primary doses.
If people refuse to get their boosters, Concepcion said the country’s wall of immunity may collapse since the efficacy of vaccines against COVID-19 wane over time.
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