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Awareness push needed in Covid-19 vax drive

We expect the national government to start inoculating the public against Covid before the end of the first quarter

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The government should conduct a massive

information campaign on its vaccination program to counter the spread of Covid-19 with its agencies ensuring the efficacy and safety of the brands it will procure from various countries.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Wednesday said the national government is rushing to meet its target rollout of the first quarter of this year but he acknowledged the need for an information drive as the public’s trust in vaccines remains low.

“We expect the national government to start inoculating the public against Covid before the end of the first quarter,” Go said. “We’ll ensure that the vaccines are safe for use”
Go made the statement while addressing fire victims and tricycle drivers in Obando, Bulacan where he personally distributed assistance.

As chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go vowed that the poor and vulnerable sectors will be prioritized for the vaccine.

“But the government and its agencies really need to ramp up the information dissemination to build vaccine confidence among Filipinos,” he stated. “Many among our people are afraid and would rather see the others ahead of them in the line. No, every vaccine we will procure is safe.”

The government and its agencies really need to ramp up the information dissemination to build vaccine confidence among Filipinos.

After the distribution of assistance in Obando, Bulacan, Go also attended the launch of the 98th Malasakit Center at the Casimiro A. Ynares Sr. Memorial Hospital in Rodriguez, Rizal.

Meanwhile, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Atty. Salvador Panelo also on Wednesday said that the government cannot force the people to get vaccinated, contradicting an earlier statement made by Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque that residents should stop being choosy on the kind of vaccines available to the public.

In his online program, “Counterpoint,” Panelo likewise stressed that the need to conduct an information campaign amid the latest survey that nearly 50 percent of the respondents are not willing to get vaccinated.
“There is a new controversy, the people are not allowed to choose the vaccine that’s why many are criticizing (the program),” Panelo said.
Panelo maintained that officials cannot force a person to be inoculated.

“The logic here, is you cannot also force that person to be vaccinated by the kind of vaccine you want the person to have,” he added.

“You need to have a constant information campaign otherwise, that 47 percent will have multiplier effect. We don’t have the money to buy the vaccines but the government find ways to secure these vaccines and if people do not want to be vaccinated, these vaccines will just expire,” he added.

Panelo said that concerned government officials should concentrate on how to convince the people that the vaccines are safe.

Many among our people are afraid and would rather see the others ahead of them in the line. No, every vaccine we will procure is safe.

“The problem we have now is many do not want to be inoculated, we should rather focus on this issue,” he said.

At the same time, Panelo allayed the fears of the public on the new Covid-19 variant, saying the same health protocols should be observed to prevent getting the virus.
“The minimum health protocols should be observed such as wearing of masks, face shields and observing physical distancing and frequent washing of hands should be observed even with the new Covid-19 variant,” he added.

Panelo said all the Cabinet officials are willing to be vaccinated once the vials are available.

“All of us in the Cabinet will get the vaccine. The government will still prioritize the health workers, the senior citizens, and other frontliners,” he added.

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