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Man on wheelchair pushes advocacy on COVID-19 jabs

Early morning of June 17, 2021, is an ordinary day to some. But for a man on a wheelchair, it is a significant day because he feels that he will conquer a milestone, not of a typical school or business achievement but of making an important decision. This is for him to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Fritz Enjhay Cepe, his friends call him Jhay, was excited upon knowing that the A3 priority of COVID-19 was already scheduled for inoculation.

“At first, just like anyone, I had doubts, but knowing the severity of the virus and seeing my friends and family members get infected, I agreed with Mom to get me a schedule for my vaccination,” Jhay said.

Jay has been living with cerebral palsy for 35 years now, and his wheelchair has been his companion since then until he achieved his Master’s Degree in Multimedia (E-learning Technologies) at Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia.

He presently works as a GIS specialist in the Municipal Government of San Jose, Antique.

“I decided to get a jab against the deadly virus for my protection, for my family, friends, and officemates,” he said.


Jhay added “I also read a lot of fake news, but my fears were conquered because I have trust in God who sent the doctors and health professionals to help us.”

With this, Jhay is encouraging other persons with disabilities and individuals with co-morbidities to get vaccinated for their protection, too.

Aside from being vaccinated, Jhay said that when in public, he is always compliant to wearing face masks/face shields and practicing
social distancing to set an example to other persons with disabilities that they too are part of the solution to this pandemic.

On July 15, 2021, Jhay got his second dose of Sinovac vaccine at the Robinsons Mall San Jose, Antique.

He expressed his gratitude to the management of the Municipal Health Office of San Jose for a PWD-friendly vaccination center which is accessible even to those with mobility issues. The systems worked well even to those with wheelchairs.

For Antique as of September 5, out of 432,452 target population for vaccination, a total 62,467 have already been fully vaccinated or 14.44 percent got the second dose of various vaccines given to the province.

For persons with co-morbidities, where Jhay belongs, a total of 25,842 individuals have been fully vaccinated as of September 5, 2021 per Department of Health report.

Jhay encouraged other people with disabilities, especially those who have doubts about the vaccination, to get over their fears and get
inoculated.

“Our limitations should not hinder us, instead, we should be an inspiration that despite the physical challenges we can achieve something for ourselves and others too.” he said.

“Yes! June 17 is not an ordinary day for me.  It's a day I decided to do extra-ordinary decision and be a part of the solution to this pandemic,” Jhay concluded. (JBG/PSM/PIA-Antique)

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Pilar Mabaquiao

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Region 6

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