Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr (MNS Photo)

MANILA, Nov 4 (Mabuhay) — The official leading the country’s inoculation program against COVID-19 said Thursday he was in favor of mandatory vaccination.

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr said a small portion of the population left unvaccinated could threaten those fully immunized.

“Yes, I’m in favor of that because ang higher interest natin, we are in a pandemic. Ang sabi ng [World Health Organization] we are not safe if everyone is not safe. Kung lahat tayo vaccinated dun lang tayo magkakaroon ng complete safety and protection,” he said when asked if he supports mandatory vaccination.

“We need to inoculate or maybe mandate vaccination kasi talagang (because) we are at risk if we will not vaccinate everybody. If we will have a sizable amount of 20 million roaming around, those antivaxxers roaming around it will even threaten those vaccinated.”

The Philippines has fully vaccinated 27.7 million individuals, while 32.7 million have received an initial dose as of Tuesday, according to government data.

It is considering a 3-day nationwide vaccination drive that aims to inoculate 5 million people, Galvez said.

Government is also planning to begin administering third doses and booster shots to priority sectors beginning Nov. 15, he earlier said.

The Philippines on Wednesday began the vaccination of all children aged 12 to 17, regardless of their health status. It is planning to expand its pediatric vaccination to include those below 12 years old next year.(MNS)

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