Palace urges Filipinos to get booster shots, warns against disinformation on Covid vaccines and booster doses

Courtesy PCOO/RTVM


(Eagle News) – Malacanang encouraged Filipinos to get booster shots amid the continuing spread of COVID-19 and the highly infectious Omicron variant.

The Palace also warned against spreading misinformation and disinformation on COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots as it clarified a video clip of President Rodrigo Duterte that was recorded on Sept. 30, 2021 that was being circulated recently to “campaign against the administration of booster shots.” In the video, Duterte said that two vaccine doses are enough (“tama na ‘yang dalawang doses”.)

Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles said that this video was “being shared and utilized by some groups” against booster shots.

“The said video clip should be viewed in the proper context. At that point, 21 million of our countrymen were fully vaccinated, and our priority was to increase this number, which is why the provision of booster shots had yet to be approved,” said Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles.

In a statement on Sunday, January 23, Nograles stressed that the current situation is “vastly different.”

He said that since last November when the government approved the use of booster doses for all vaccinated individuals, President Duterte has been urging Filipinos not only to get fully vaccinated but to get booster shots.

The Cabinet Secretary cited Duterte’s “Talk to the People” last December 21 that urged the public to get booster shots as protection against getting the severe form of COVID in view of the local transmission of the highly infectious Omicron variant.

“We reiterate that there is clear evidence that COVID-19 booster shots provide additional protection against the virus, and urge the public to refrain from sharing disinformation that will endanger the lives of our kababayan, compromise our efforts to contain COVID-19, and undermine our campaign to beat the disease,” Nograles said.

The government’s efforts to encourage more Filipinos to get booster shots included the recent launch of the pilot “Resbakuna sa Botica” where selected pharmacies and clinics had been allowed to administer booster shots. Clinics can also administer both primary shots and booster doses.

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said those who want to get their booster shots may pre-register at their chosen clinic or pharmacy. He said walk-ins can be accommodated provided there are still sufficient vaccine supplies.

He, however, encouraged unvaccinated individuals to go directly to vaccination centers in their respective communities or barangays.

“As much as possible, pag first dose siya, pwede naman ma-accommodate sa clinic kasi meron silang mga doktor at response team,” Galvez said.

“But for the pharmacies, considering na wala silang doktor at meron lang silang response ambulance, ang strategy natin is talagang naka-program,” he added.

Malacanang last Friday said that it was encouraged with the recent SWS survey that showed a decline in vaccine hesitancy and skepticism among Filipinos.

The SWS survey conducted from December 12 to 16, 2021 found that only eight percent (8%) of adult Filipinos are unwilling to get vaccinated, down from the 18% who were hesitant to get jabbed in September 2021. The recent result was much lower than the June 2021 survey that showed 21% vaccine hesitancy, and the May 2021 survey, with 33% of respondents saying they do not want to get vaccinated.

Senyales ito ng matagumpay nating pagtutulungan, tayong lahat—kayo na nasa media na nagbibigay ng tamang impormasyon, and then of course government making sure na nandyan yung supplies sa lahat ng regions at ginagawa po natin ang lahat ng hakbang para maging accessible po ang bakuna sa lahat ng areas dito sa ating bansa, and of course, ang taong bayan,” said Nograles in a press briefing on Friday.

He asked the public’s “help and cooperation in convincing the remaining unvaccinated population to get jabbed.”

Recently, there were also reports about a new subvariant of Omicron, dubbed BA.2.

(Eagle News Service)