San Jose del Monte City Rep. Florida “Rida” P. Robes on Sunday called on the Inter- Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) to implement a massive information campaign on the different Covid-19 vaccines.
Robes made the statement in order to allay fears and questions being raised on the safety and efficacy of the different vaccines that are currently being administered abroad.
“There is too much information that our countrymen are getting confused and anxious about getting the vaccine. The government, particularly the IATF, should go on a massive information drive to give the real score on the vaccines and the vaccination program that soon will be rolled out when we have the vaccines,” Robes said.
The chair of the House Committee on People’s Participation has been spearheading dialogues with international pharmaceutical companies leading in vaccine development with Philippine health officials to facilitate the approval of Covid-19 vaccine in the Philippines.
Robes pointed out that she has talked to many people in her district and they expressed apprehension in getting the vaccine because of questions on their safety and efficacy.
“Initially they wanted to get the vaccine but with the many information that they get from social media that many we know are not true, they are now having second thoughts. We should allay their fears through a massive information drive that will go all the way to the grassroots,” she stated.
She expressed confidence that the Duterte administration will choose a vaccine that is proven safe and effective.
“I know that they have the best interest of the Filipino people at heart. It’s just that there is just a lot of disinformation. They should work to allay our fears and assure us that the vaccines that will be chosen are safe and efficient as well as cost-effective for us Filipinos,” she said.
Earlier, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go called for the same information campaign in a bid to build higher vaccine confidence among Filipinos.
“Gayunpaman, sa tingin ko po ay nagkukulang tayo ngayon sa information dissemination campaigns o awareness information plan, hindi lamang para masiguro ang tuluy-tuloy na kooperasyon ng mga Pilipino, kundi para na rin mapanatag sila na hindi natutulog ang kanilang gobyerno upang mabigyan sila ng ligtas at epektibong bakuna laban sa COVID-19,” Go said during the Senate Committee of the Whole hearing on 15 January.
The senator also warned those spreading misinformation and said that he is open to introducing measures that would further penalize individuals who spread misinformation and take advantage of the vulnerabilities of Filipinos amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.