President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday ordered to include informal settlers or the poor in the vaccination program in the coming days.
At a public briefing, he said he no longer wanted to wait for a surplus or extra vaccine to be given to the informal settlers.
He said he wants them to be vaccinated immediately this week when health workers and senior citizens are vaccinated. Government officials would be the last to be vaccinated, Duterte said.
“That is why I said, I am thinking of going mobile. Kayo na pumunta, or if you are near the barangay, you just wait because ang order ko ngayon is for the team to give you the vaccine,” said Duterte.
According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, in accordance with the President’s order, the Department of Health will prepare for this, but he sees a challenge in the president’s desire to bring the vaccine directly to the homes of informal settlers.
“Kung dadalhin ang bakuna sa kanila, kakailangan ng napakaraming tao na magmo-monitor for adverse effects following immunization. Iyan po ang very important step. Very final step in the vaccination process, after you are vaccinated, you have to be observed for 30 minutes to about 1 hour individually for a possible serious side effects,” he said.
Duterte wants informal settlers vaccinated immediately
“Kung iisa-isahin po natin sa lugar nila, kulang po tayo sa tao sa pagmonitor,” adde Duque.
The President urged the public not to be discouraged even though the COVID-19 case is on the rise again in the country.
He said COVID-19 is just a small problem.
“Do not despair, kaya natin ito. COVID na ito. Maliit na bagay ito sa buhay natin, mas marami tayo dinaanan na mas ano, mas grabe, mas mahirap, mas magluluha kayo.”