Amid the rising daily Covid-19 cases in the country, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has advised all eligible Filipinos to get vaccinated and take booster shots as well for added protection.
Data from the Department of Health (DoH) showed that new infections rose to 37,207 on 14 January, the highest single tally reported since the pandemic started.
The DoH also registered a positivity rate of 47.3 percent which meant that nearly one out of every two individuals who were tested turned out positive.
“To those who have not been vaccinated, please proceed to the nearest vaccination center in your locality,” Go appealed.
“For those eligible for booster shots, get them as soon as possible. Studies have shown that booster shots give added protection against the Omicron variant.”
The senator, who serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Health, said the emergence of the Omicron variant has emphasized the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted.
Health experts have found that receiving two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine alone significantly reduces one’s risk of developing severe symptoms or dying as a result of the virus. Despite the sharp spike in infections, the country’s case-to-hospitalization rate is currently lower compared to previous surges.
A recent study by the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University also revealed that an additional dose of an mRNA-based vaccine can provide immunity against the Omicron variant.
The government has administered around 117.3 million doses of vaccines as of 13 January. Some 54.5 million Filipinos are now fully vaccinated while 58.5 million have received their first dose. More than 4.4 million have obtained their booster shots.
Go reminded Filipinos to religiously observe basic health protocols such as using masks in public, social distancing and regular hand washing.
“Let’s help each other. I am aware that many of us want a return to normalcy. We can only achieve this through the observance of health protocols and vaccination,” he said.
Experts found that the proper use of masks alone decreases the risk of catching and spreading the virus.
“Public health is the responsibility of all, not only the government. Let’s do our part and be part of the solution. Let’s widen our knowledge on the Covid symptoms. If you have symptoms, avoid leaving the house so that we won’t infect the others,” he added.
The lawmaker underscored the importance of balancing public health and economic interests.
“Presently, there are many areas under Alert Level 3. We want to balance public health and the economy. Let us not allow the situation to lead to another lockdown because we want businesses to recover,” Go said.