Obligating the unvaccinated must now be a must

THE recent pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte directing village chiefs to make sure that those who remain unvaccinated with anti-COVID-19 shots remain in their homes amid the rising number of infections is not totally without basis.

With the daily infections hitting as high as over 17,000 cases a day, there is more than enough, compelling reason to impose more stringent measures that will be for the greater good of the greater majority.

In March 2020, when the coronavirus spread worldwide, Malacanang announced a state of public health emergency throughout the Philippines, pursuant to the Philippine Constitution and Republic Act No. 11332 and via Proclamation No. 922.

The declaration was meant to aid the national government in doing everything within its means to restrain the virus from eating up the population.

Shockingly, it turns out that 52,000 senior citizens remain unvaccinated in Metro Manila alone.

The Department of Health (DOH)-National Capital Region (NCR) must intensify its mass vaccination campaign specially amid the very fast rate that recent infections are sweeping the nation.

DOH-NCR Regional Director Dr. Gloria Balboa has vowed that the department will visit every nook and cranny to search for the unvaccinated senior citizens, although, she said, 97 percent of the senior citizens in the metro have been inoculated and the 52,000 represents the remaining three percent.

The senior citizens were prioritized in the mass vaccination program when it was launched, since they belong to what is considered as the most vulnerable sector and here they are, refusing to take the vaccines.

They, along with those belonging to the eligible population who also choose to remain unvaccinated, pose a threat to public safety by being potential, easy spreaders of the virus.

This is highly unfair for those who have chosen to heed the government and consider not only their own safety, but that of the ones they love and their fellowmen in general.

While it is true that one has the right to decide on what to do with his own body, it is different when the health and welfare of the greater majority is already at stake. Remaining unvaccinated and posing a threat to everyone else is a selfish act.

The situation can be likened to times when there are calamities. Like typhoon, for instance or an earthquake.

At times like these, the national and local governments order those who may be gravely affected to evacuate or to not leave their homes. And the residents follow because they know it’s for their own good.

The virus needs a host to continue growing, mutating and spreading. The unvaccinated presents these hosts and unless and until they are saturated, the threat of transmission of infections will remain.

These days, the young ones who have not been vaccinated simply because the green light is yet to be given for their age group, comprise a great portion of those who got infected recently.

It’s good that the DOH is now targeting to start inoculating with Pfizer those aged five to 11 in February.

Duterte is known for his rhetorics but his directive for barangay officials to put their foot down and go to the extent of effecting the arrest of those who will insist on going out even if they are unvaccinated seems to be serious. And justified.

The recent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases is really alarming and it had been overwhelming the country’s health system all over again, just like what happened in the thick of the pandemic.

Tightening the curbs might just do the trick.

Jokjok (from Danilo Herrera of Quezon City )

Girl: Alam mo para kang bisyo
Boy (kinilig): Bakit, dahil ba hindi mo ako kayang maiwasan?

Girl: Hinde!

Boy: Eh bakit, sirit na

Girl: Dahil sinisira mo ang buhay ko!!!

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