No need yet for mandatory Covid-19 vaccination: Palace

Medical and Health Care

There is no need yet to compel Filipinos to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Malacañang said on Thursday.

For now, there is a slim chance that President Rodrigo Duterte would order the mandatory inoculation against Covid-19, considering that more Filipinos want to receive the vaccine jabs, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.

“But right now, because the supply [has] just arrived, let’s see, because I think the level of individuals who want to be vaccinated is already very high so baka hindi pa naman kinakailangan sa ngayon (perhaps, the mandatory vaccination is not yet necessary),” Roque said.

Roque said the government’s current priority is to administer the vaccines to individuals who are willing to get inoculated against the coronavirus.

“Napakarami pong gusto nang mabakunahan. Since nandiyan na po ang supply, eh ubusin muna natin ’yung gusto nating mabakunahan bago natin pagisipan ang batas para maging mandatory po ang pagbabakuna (Many want to get vaccinated. Since there is already a steady supply, let’s use that to those who want to get vaccinated before we consider passing a law on mandatory vaccination),” he said.

In his prerecorded “Talk to the People” delivered Monday night, Duterte attributed the significant drop in Covid-19 infections to the government’s immunization drive.

Duterte also renewed his appeal to hesitant individuals to get vaccinated to protect themselves against Covid-19.

As of Wednesday, a total of 50,966,114 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered nationwide.

Around 23,768,191 individuals have been fully vaccinated, while 27,197,923 others have received the first vaccine shot.

Quizzed as to how the government would convince more Filipinos to get inoculated against Covid-19, Roque said it would continue to intensify its communication and information drive to allay public fears.

“Ang government communication ay wala pong tigil ang paghihikayat sa ating mga mamamayan na magpabakuna (Our government communication continues to encourage the public to get vaccinated),” Roque said. “Protektahan natin ang ating mga sarili, ang ating mga mahal sa buhay sa pamamagitan po ng bakuna (Let’s protect ourselves and our loved ones through the vaccine).”

In September, Duterte broached the idea of using the government’s police power to compel citizens to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Malacañang, however, has repeatedly said a law is needed to mandate Filipinos to receive the Covid-19 vaccine shots.

Roque said the Palace would respect any lawmaker who would push for the mandatory vaccination against the coronavirus.

“That’s for Congress to enact, if Congress wishes so,” he said.

San Jose del Monte City Rep. Rida Robes earlier filed House Bill 10249 which mandates the administration of Covid-19 vaccines to all Filipinos and residents of the Philippines who are eligible to receive the vaccine.

Source: Philippines News Agency