PASIG CITY (8 November 2021) — National Task Force against COVID 19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr. remains steadfast in advocating for the mandatory vaccination of citizens, especially for those who are highly vulnerable to the disease.

In an online interview on Monday, Galvez explained that the government’s constitutional mandate to protect the health and welfare of the people should be the basis for the implementation of mandatory vaccination in the country.

He pointed out that unvaccinated individuals pose a major health risk to the general population and should therefore be compelled to get the COVID-19 jab.

“Vaccination is critical in protecting and saving the lives of people. ‘Yung mandatory vaccination is necessary dahil napakalaki ng epekto ng pagbabakuna [laban COVID 19] sa ating ekonomiya at kalusugan,” Galvez said.

“Hindi tayo makakalagpas sa pandemyang ito kung hindi lahat ay mababakunahan,” he added.

Galvez pointed out that apart from causing severe infection and death among Filipinos, the spread of the virus has heavily impacted on business activity in the country, resulting in job loss and the weakening of the economy.

He said that implementing mandatory vaccination is ‘timely,’ as the Philippines’ vaccine inventory has significantly increased.

As of November 8, the country has received 113,451,500 COVID 19 vaccine doses, which include the latest shipment of more than 2.8 million doses of Sputnik V jabs that are scheduled to arrive on Monday evening.

National Vaccination Days

The vaccine czar noted that vaccinated individuals should be considered modern day heroes, as the national government aims to encourage more people to be heroes to their families and communities.

“Kaya itataon namin ang National Vaccination Days sa Bonifacio Day sa November 30 dahil ang gusto nating iparating ay lahat ng magpapabakuna ay bayani,” Galvez said.

The vaccine czar said the NTF has proposed a three-day National Vaccination Day, which aims to administer at least five million doses. The activity will run from November 29 to December 1.

The National Vaccination Days will pool the resources of national government, local government units, the private sector, and medical organizations to scale up the country’s vaccination throughput in rural and urban areas.

Whole-of-government, whole-of-nation approach

Galvez emphasized that the continued collaboration between the government and the private sector will be crucial, as the country continues to scale up its vaccination rate.

“Lahat ng agencies ay magtulung-tulong para mabilis ang suporta na maibibigay sa LGUs lalo na sa deployment at administration,” said Galvez.

He said the major issues affecting the vaccine rollout such as peoples’ the accessibility to the vaccines, limited cold chain facilities, and the lack of vaccinators, especially in the municipalities and provinces, are now being addressed by the national government with the help of LGUs and the private sector.

“We will be doing just-in-time delivery of vaccines doon sa may limited capacities on cold storage and make use of donated freezers from the US government doon sa wala. We will use military and police assets in the deployment and transportation,” Galvez said.

As part of the national government’s efforts to scale up the capacity of LGUs to efficiently store highly-sensitive COVID-19, he said the 40 ultra-low freezers donated by the US government to the Philippines are now being transported to far flung areas that need the equipment.

Galvez added that medical associations have also committed to mobilize their members to augment the number of vaccinators across the country.

The private sector together with medical experts have also launched a massive information campaign to address vaccine hesitancy and encourage more people to get the jab.

“Kailangan natin magpabakuna. Nakita natin bumagsak ang cases dahil mataas na ang vaccination [rate] dito sa Metro Manila,” said Galvez.

“Ang ating mga bakunang ginagamit ngayon ay talagang ligtas at epektibo base sa real world data. Sana huwag maniwala sa fake news at sa mga anti-vaxxers ang ating mga kababayan,”he added.

As of November 6, a total of 63,733,776 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered nationwide, bringing the total number of fully vaccinated individuals in the country to 29,331,626.

Those who have at least one dose of the vaccine now stand at 38,019,055 or 49.29% of the country’s target population.

The national government aims to administer at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose to 54 million Filipinos or 70% of the country’s target population by the end of November, and complete their inoculation before year-end. END