CBCP chair on health care services vows full support to govt’s Covid-19 vaccination plan

NAVAL, Biliran, Feb. 12 (PIA) -- The government’s Covid-19 vaccination plan gets its full support from no less than the chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Health Care Services of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in a virtual press conference on Thursday conducted in line with the national celebration of the 29th World Day of the Sick in the country hosted by the Diocese of Naval.

“The health care commission of the CBCP is willing to help the government in several ways,” said Bishop Rex T. Ramirez of the Diocese of Naval to some members of government, private and some religious media organizations joining the virtual press conference.

Ramirez, who is also the current CBCP chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Health Care Services, emphasized the need in “helping educate the people about Covid-19, about vaccination,” as primary way where the church can help the government’s Covid-19 vaccination plan.

“Another would be in encouraging dioceses and parishes to help out not only in this education, but also in allowing their places to be used, in cases when for example, there is need for, let’s say isolation areas, areas for vaccination,” he said.

He recalled that the vaccination areas need to be large and wide, because once a person is vaccinated, one has not to leave the area immediately and need to be monitored for at least a few minutes.

“That’s really education, and encouragement of the people,” Ramirez said adding that he had heard it said before, that many people, especially the poor, trust the church.

“So, the church would be able to give a good support to the government, in educating, in encouraging them to help stop the pandemic,” he further said.

Use the pulpit

“I would,” Bishop Ramirez directly answered to a question of whether he has to encourage priest to include in their homilies, as a way of educating the public or parishioners, to be vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine.

He elaborated that it has to be explained to them as there are many sources of news and information that we get, and many times we are not sure of, of where they are from, and on what basis these are made.

“We would be able to give encouragement, or even use the pulpit for the vaccination process,” Ramirez emphasized.

“Of course the church has also to explain certain things concerning the vaccination, like there are things, there are times when a person cannot be vaccinated, and that is part of the education I suppose that they would have to receive,” he added.

He also reminded the public that nobody can force anyone to receive a vaccination against one’s will. It is also a policy of the government that the Covid-19 vaccination is voluntary and not compulsory. (ldl/rsv/PIA-Biliran)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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