Health experts: The more people are vaccinated, the faster the economy can recover

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 5) — Private companies and members of government agencies are urging everyone to have themselves immunized when they get the chance especially since orders of vaccines made by the private sector have yet to arrive.

During the Philippine Disaster Resiliency Foundation webinar on Tuesday, Dr. Napoleon Arevalo, member of the Health Department’s Field and Coordination team, said herd immunity can be achieved faster if more people will get inoculated which could help in economic recovery.

Yung mga A4 category, ito na yung mga susunod because we would also like to preserve our economy, maka-bounce back tayo at maibalik natin unti unti ang ating pagawa at ang ating ekonomiya ay unti unting bumalik,” said Arevalo.

[Translation: The ones in the A4 category are next in the vaccine rollout because we would like to see preserve our economy, bounce back and slowly recover.]

George Barcelon, vice president of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines, also emphasized that the majority of the population needs to be vaccinated for the country to recover. To express their support, many companies have made tripartite agreements with vaccine manufacturers and the government, he said.

READ: 1.3 million AstraZeneca doses for private sector to arrive in June—Concepcion

“The private sector has been asked many times, but we don’t have the answers. We are still waiting on the availability of Astrazeneca where it’s a fifty-fifty share. 50 percent goes to the government while 50 percent goes to the private sector,” he noted.

During the webinar, Arevalo also identified challenges in the country’s vaccination program citing data management as one of them.

He also emphasized the need to educate health workers at the barangay level to counter misinformation on social media.

Ang sinasabi po nating mga undesirable side effects which are generally mild, and these subside weekly even with medication… kaya kailangan maintensify natin ang vaccination drive so that the public is well informed on possible side effects,” says Arevalo.

[Translation: The undesirable side effects we are seeing are generally mild and will subside in a week even without medication. We need to intensify our vaccination drive so that public is well-informed on possible side effects.]