Calls limiting to only fully vaccinated individuals access to malls and restaurants in Metro Manila should be put off until there’s enough supply of vaccines, Senator Win Gatchalian said.
“Sa ngayon mahirap gawin ‘yan dahil hindi sapat ang supply ng vaccines natin. Marami na ang gustong magpabakuna pero ang problema naman ay kulang ang supply,” he emphasized.
“Until such time na marami na ang bakuna at mayroon pa ring mga taong ayaw magpabakuna, siguro maaari na nating pag-isipan ang panukalang ‘yan para maengganyo natin ang lahat na maging bakunado,” added Gatchalian.
In Valenzuela City, for instance, the senator said the local government has a backlog of almost 300,000. While 52% of the target population already received the first dose, only 34% have been administered with the second dose.
“Hindi sa ayaw ng mga taong magpabakuna, walang bakuna na makuha at maraming local government units (LGUs) na humihingi pa ng bakuna. Marami akong kausap na mga LGUs sa probinsya na namomroblema sa supply ng bakuna. Kulang na kulang pa talaga,” Gatchalian said.
Insofar as the National Capital Region (NCR) is concerned, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairperson Benhur Abalos said the vaccination drive against COVID-19 have inoculated 43.5% of the eligible recipients or a total of 4,262,546 residents have been fully vaccinated as of August 22, 2021.
Seventy-five percent of the whole eligible population of the NCR have already been administered their first dose of the vaccine and full vaccination of 50% of the eligible population can be achieved by the end of the month, according to Abalos.
Some business groups supported the idea of allowing only those fully vaccinated in restaurants, within mall premises, and other commercial establishments in the NCR to create safer bubbles that could control the spread of the more transmissible COVID-19 variants.
Gatchalian said he supports the idea if it’s meant to encourage more people to get themselves vaccinated.
“Aminin na natin, mababa na ang vaccine hesitancy rate ngayon. So kahit na may mga naeengganyong magpabakuna na, kung wala naman silang paraan para mabakunahan, mawawalan ng saysay ang pagsisikap na ito. Hindi rin naman madadagdagan ang kita ng mga malls at restaurants kung konti pa lang ang mga bakunado,” he said.