Some are skeptical of the bill that seeks to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory.
For the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), the obligation to vaccinate is not a problem, because the problem is that the vaccine is still lacking. But President Rodrigo Duterte himself has said that there is no compulsion to inject it.
“We feel it might even be unconstitutional. There will be legal challenge. So I don’t even think it would prosper,” said ECOP president Sergio Ortiz-Luis.
“Nagkakagulo nga ang mga tao dahil hindi sila ma-prioritize eh, gusto nga nila mauna sila eh, meron pa rin ‘yung hindi pero hindi mo naman puwedeng pilitin ‘yung ayaw,” he added.
Cavite 4th District Rep. Elpidio Barzaga proposes to amend Republic Act 11525 or the COVID-19 vaccination program Act of 2021 through House Bill No. 9252.
In section 3 of the measure, COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory for people to be identified by the Department of Health, and will be provided free of charge at any government hospital or health center.
Proposed mandatory COVID-19 vaccination has legal barriers – ECOP
But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) admits that it will be difficult to force the public to get vaccinated.
According to FDA Director-General Eric Domingo, vaccines are only approved under emergency use authorization (EUA).
“This is really personal autonomy, to have someone being a healthy person being injected with something. ‘Pag nagbigay ako ng EUA required na kailangan merong consent ng patient na magpabakuna,” said Domingo.
“May side effects pa ‘yan na hindi pa alam. Medyo tricky na ‘yung making vaccination compulsory, making a vaccine under EUA compulsory, that’s even a little more complicated for me. That’s a very difficult proposition.”
As of April 25, Sunday, up to 1,739, 656 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the country. The number of doses distributed will reach 3,025,600 since April 20.
There are only two vaccines left in the Philippines: the Sinovac vaccines and the AstraZeneca. Some have expressed doubts about the vaccination against COVID-19 due to the reported side effects despite the encouragement of some experts and their statements that it is safe.
The government targets to vaccinate 70 million Filipinos to achieve herd immunity.
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