Duterte urges voters to get COVID-19 booster jabs before #Halalan2022

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 03 2022 05:01 PM | Updated as of May 03 2022 06:07 PM

 A journalist checks a sample ballot during a one-day workshop which aimed to provide detailed information on the voting process and the Vote Counting Machine in Cagayan de Oro on April 23, 2022. Froilan Gallardo, ABS-CBN News
A journalist checks a sample ballot during a one-day workshop which aimed to provide detailed information on the voting process and the Vote Counting Machine in Cagayan de Oro on April 23, 2022. Froilan Gallardo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte urged voters to get their COVID-19 booster shots before casting their ballots on May 9, when some 67 million people are expected to flock to polling centers. 

"It’s still available and anybody can have it," Duterte said of booster jabs in a national address that aired on Tuesday. 

"Because it's election time, there will be a crowd again of people congregating, and it would be good to have booster shots before you go out and mix with the crowd," he added. 

Health experts earlier raised concern on the waning immunity from COVID-19 shots, the emergence of more transmissible omicron subvariants, and a possible surge of infections after the elections if health protocols are violated. 

Booster jabs "can protect you and you can vote sans the worry of getting the infection again," Duterte said. 

Government data showed some 67.9 million individuals were so far fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while around 13.4 million have received their booster jab. 

Sweeping lockdowns after the elections are unlikely as the increase in COVID-19 cases was still insignificant, the health department said over the weekend. 

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