Archbishop Gilbert Garcera of Lipa called on Filipinos to get vaccinated against COVID-19 “before it’s too late.”
The prelate was tested positive of COVID-19 in March and admitted that he had a long and difficult battle with the disease.
“Take it from me, when COVID hits you, you will call all the saints in heaven,” said Archbishop Garcera in his homily on Sunday.
After battling the disease, he said survivors may have to settle hefty hospital bills.
The archbishop encouraged hesitant people to avail of the vaccines that are available. “Don’t wait to get sick (with COVID-19). You’ll regret it,” Garcera warned.
The archbishop also stressed that vaccines are “blessings” during this time of the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 vaccination rollout is also a blessing to us and we know that vaccination centers are widespread,” he added.
Vaccine hesitancy among Filipinos remains a serious challenge in the national inoculation program, although the government has had difficulties securing vaccine supplies.
In May, local pollster Social Weather Stations found that only a third of 1,200 Filipinos it surveyed were willing to be vaccinated, while a third were hesitant over concerns about side effects or the efficacy of vaccines.
The Philippines has administered over 11.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Sunday, the Department of Health said.
The latest figure is up by nearly 700,000 from the total doses given as of just three days earlier, or July 1.
“The total doses administered in the 18th week of our national vaccination reached a record high of 1,778,989 doses,” the DOH said. The vaccine rollout started last March 1.
As of July 4, a total of 11,708,029 doses of the anti-virus jabs have been administered in the country. Of the figure, 8,839,124 were given as first dose, while 2,868,905 were second doses.
Those who have received two doses are considered fully vaccinated. – with a report from CBCP News