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MISPLACED FEAR | PRRD: China-made vaccines ‘backed by science’

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday urged the public to set aside their fears over getting vaccinated with vaccines made in China, claiming these are “backed by science and deliberated by Filipino health experts.”

At the arrival ceremonies on Sunday for China’s donation of 600,000 doses of Coronavac, the vaccine manufactured by China-based Sinovac, Duterte said cooperation in putting an end to the pandemic is vital, asking them to be vaccinated at the soonest possible time to stem the spread of the disease.

“With the entire nation’s support, I am confident we will claim victory over this pandemic. Let us demonstrate unity in our shared task of nation-building,” he said at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

He also reiterated that COVID-19 vaccines must be treated as a global public good, making them available to all so that no one will be left to suffer the ravages of the pandemic, since the comprehensive global recovery “hinges on equal and easy access” to the vaccines.

“At the end of the day, as I repeatedly said, no one is safe until everyone is safe,” he said.

He assured the public that the government is doing all it can to ensure a timely roll-out of the mass inoculation program to reopen the country.

The President had earlier declined to place the entire country under the modified general community quarantine, which is the least restrictive form of quarantine classification, pending the arrival of the vaccines.

He said more batches of vaccines are expected to arrive in the country.

“The delivery of this first batch will serve as a guarantee to everyone that we are taking a big step in our efforts to overcome this health crisis,” he said.

He encouraged the public to continue observing health and safety protocols even after getting inoculated.

The President said he plans to visit China at the end of the year when the pandemic is put under control to personally thank Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Secretary Carlito Galvez, Chief Implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID 19 and “vaccine czar,” said the government highly appreciates the swift shipment of vaccines despite China’s limited supply and logistical challenges and for coming to the country’s aid during the health crisis.

He said the government expects the cases in the country will decrease, which will allow more economic activities.

He said the roll-out will officially start at the Philippine General Hospital and other hospitals in the country on Monday.

As of 6:08 p.m. on Sunday, Davao City Health Office (CHO) acting head Dr. Ashley Lopez has not responded on when the vaccines will arrive in the city.

As of February 27, the Department of Health- Davao Region reported 37 new cases, bringing the total cases to 19,921, with 1,519 active, 17,563 recoveries, and 839 deaths in the region.

Out of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 cases in Mindanao, tallied 13,056 cases, with 813 active, 11,612 recoveries, and 633 deaths. Davao de Oro reported 1,146 cases, Davao del Norte with 2,945, Davao del Sur with 1,334, Davao Occidental with 211, and Davao Oriental with 1,229. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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