Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso yesterday exhorted Manileños to grab the opportunity and avail of the Sinovac vaccine against the coronavirus disease.
Domagoso and Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna joined national and health officials during the first vaccine rollout in the country at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).
At the weekly flag-raising ceremony at Manila City Hall, he said residents should take advantage of the vaccination program as the coronavirus is still in our midst.
“Let us trust the government and the experts rather than listen to detractors of some vaccines as they would only create fear,” Domagoso said.
“I know that because of your past experience with the vaccine, we now have a phobia. However, this vaccine is so much more important than all other vaccines, and this has been certified by experts. Let us just trust that it is better to be protected than not to have it,” he added.
The mayor’s statement was among the many voices who are campaigning for the public to avail of the CoronaVac vaccine.
Surveys held in the past weeks indicated the public were reluctant to avail of a vaccine that was made by a Chinese pharmaceutical firm.
Apart from Domagoso and Lacuna, also present at the PGH event were National Task Force against Covid-19 chief implementor Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Department of Health (DoH) Undersecretary and Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo, Dr. Paz Corrales, assistant regional director of the National Capital Region DoH-Centers for Health Development, and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Benhur Abalos.
Galvez emphasized getting vaccinated was a “moral obligation” that everyone needs and in order to help the economy survive.
On his part, Dr. Gerardo Legaspi, PGH director, recalled the extreme challenges he and other frontline workers experienced when Covid-19 cases started spreading early last year.
Legaspi is the first Filipino to be officially vaccinated in the country with SinoVac after it was formally authorized for use by the national government.
“Experts say that the best vaccine is the one that is in your arm,” the PGH chief said.
As Manila’s chief executive, he emphasized the need to avail of the vaccine, as this could be the only way to evade the deadly symptoms of the coronavirus disease.
“This is where our dream of peaceful life in the coming week, month and the whole of 2021 starts,” Domagoso said.
“I will respect your beliefs, your views, but if you will ask me as the father of the city, don’t gamble your safety. It is important that you get protected in the soonest time possible,” he added.
Likewise, the mayor reiterated his willingness to be vaccinated in the coming days, while stressing medical frontliners should be vaccinated first.
“We will get vaccinated so I can wipe away your fears. I will join you with your fears. We will all join you. Let us save lives,” Domagoso stressed.