Filipinos who insist on not getting vaccinated may change their minds with more encouragement from the government and the private sector – such as allowing only fully vaccinated people to dine, shop or patronize establishments indoors.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson made the call for more of such win-win measures Wednesday even as he reiterated that the government should ensure that vaccines are available and accessible to all.
“Instead of forcing vaccines on people, why not make them force themselves to get inoculated? A policy of allowing only fully vaccinated customers to eat indoors, while limiting the unvaccinated to Al Fresco dining is an example. But first, make vaccines available to all,” he said on his Twitter account.
He noted this policy, which some private establishments have started implementing, can be complemented with the proper information and education campaigns to make people realize the importance of getting vaccinated.
Lacson said this win-win approach would help both public health and the economy, while respecting the individual rights of citizens to their bodies, and the rights of other citizens to be protected from getting infected.
“We’re facing a pandemic. How can we get out of the pandemic without taking the needed preventive measures?” he added.
On the other hand, Lacson maintained authorities will need to do a much better job in rolling out vaccines especially in far-flung areas, with the rollout there being as low as 16 percent.
Lacson said he and Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III learned of this when they visited Leyte last weekend and learned of the vaccine rollout situation there.
“We have been informed that only 16 percent of the population there had been vaccinated. In Metro Manila, officials claim the rollout is nearing 100 percent. We should also mind people in the countryside. They are entitled as much as we are but the rollout in the provinces and far-flung areas needs to improve,” he said in an interview on ANC on Tuesday.