WITH Christmas just over a month away, the Department of Health (DOH) is strongly urging the public to get vaccinated and boosted against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) ahead of the expected family gatherings and parties.

In a press conference, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire yesterday said they continue to encourage the public to get vaccinated and boosted in order to get better protection against Covid-19.

“During Christmas, we have parties, reunions, and gatherings, where there are a lot of people. We all know these kinds of events are high risks in terms of getting infected,” said Vergeire.

“We strongly recommend that everybody gets vaccinated, receive their first booster, or second doses so you’ll be better protected,” she furthered.

As of November 9, a total of 73.6 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

On the other hand, merely 20.7 million fully-vaccinated individuals have received their booster shots.

The DOH Officer-in-Charge said getting vaccinated and boosted is more necessary considering that health protocols are continuously being eased.

“We are continuously easing our restrictions. We now have voluntary use of masks both indoor and outdoor areas,” noted Vergeire.

As for the use of other measures of protection, such as the face masks, during Christmas gatherings, she said they continue to encourage everybody to make proper assessment of their respective risks of infection.

“On our own, we should make informed decisions on when we should attend mass gatherings or not, and on which preventive measures should we practice,” said Vergeire.

Last October 28, President Marcos issued Executive Order No. 07, which allows optional wearing of face masks indoors.

However, the wearing of face masks is still recommended for the elderly, individuals with comorbidities, immunocompromised individuals, pregnant women, those unvaccinated, and people with Covid-19 symptoms. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)