January 25, 2022
MANILA — Malacañang on Monday reiterated its call on fully vaccinated Filipinos to get their booster shots as it described as old and out of context the video clips circulating online showing President Duterte saying two doses were enough.
In a statement, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, acting presidential spokesperson, said the video, recorded on Sept. 30, 2021, was being shared and used by some groups to campaign against the administration of COVID-19 booster shots.
Nograles said the President uttered the words, “Tama na ‘yang dalawang doses (Two doses are enough),” at the time when the government has yet to approve third doses.
“The said video clip should be viewed in the proper context. At that point, 21 million of our countrymen were fully vaccinated, and our priority was to increase this number, which is why the provision of booster shots had yet to be approved,” Nograles said.
The Department of Health approved booster shots for health workers, the elderly and persons with comorbidities in November, and for the general adult population in December.
“The situation today is now vastly different … [T]he government approved the use of booster doses for all fully vaccinated individuals as we had ample supplies of vaccines and a substantial percentage of our population was already fully vaccinated,” Nograles said.
He recalled that on Dec. 21, Mr. Duterte, in his televised address, urged the public to “take advantage” of the country’s sufficient supply of vaccines against COVID-19 and get their booster shots to control the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
“We reiterate that there is clear evidence that COVID-19 booster shots provide additional protection against the virus, and urge the public to refrain from sharing disinformation that will endanger the lives of our kababayan, compromise our efforts to contain COVID-19 and undermine our campaign to beat the disease,” Nograles added.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III also reiterated that there was evidence that booster shots improve one’s protection against severe and critical COVID-19, leading to lesser chances of getting hospitalized or dying from the disease.
“Let us not believe in fake news or stories with no bases. Let those who have not yet been vaccinated get vaccinated, and those who are finished, you should get your boosters already,” he said.