CIBAC Party-list Representative House Deputy Speaker Bro. Eddie Villanueva asks the government not to force the so-called ‘Real-time heroes during this pandemic’ or the healthcare workers who will refuse to take COVID-19 vaccine.
Around 60,000 nurses, doctors and medical personnel from 4 Metro Manila Hospitals are set to receive the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine (initially 117,000 doses) made by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer this February.
“We should always put in mind that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience including religion, which means that we always have the right to say ‘No’ especially on things and decisions that remain to be doubtful,” Villanueva explained.
“Truly, having to be vaccinated is considered to be one-step safer from this deadly coronavirus that continuously causes various problems not only to our physical and mental health but also to the country’s economy affecting our respective livelihood. But at the end of the day, the government can only convince so much, leaving the final decision to the individual,” he added.
Villanueva receives some reports that despite the priority access given to medical frontliners, many are still hesitant on the efficacy of the manufactured vaccines set to fight COVID-19 while some are scared of its side effects. Others say that they are just choosing the risk – the risk of having COVID-19, as they could prevent it a little by strictly following the safety protocols and minimum health standards being mandated.
“Having more people refusing the vaccine is really alarming. It actually raises everybody’s concern as public health implications could even be disastrous. This should be where the government comes in and focus more, particularly in building up public trust and confidence on measures it undertakes to address this pandemic.” the deputy speaker said.
Furthermore, the House Deputy Speaker for Good Governance and Moral Uprightness calls for the government to double their efforts in doing mechanisms to convince the Filipino Nation that vaccines are really helpful in preventing both mild and severe symptoms of COVID-19 and would sooner lead to the end of this pandemic.
“The consequences are potentially dire: If too few people are vaccinated, the pandemic will stretch on indefinitely, leading to excessive strain on the healthcare system and economic fallout. Our ability and aid as a society to get back to a higher level of functioning depends on having as many people protected as possible,” says Villanueva.