Scientists gaining relevance amid COVID-19 pandemic

People should listen to scientists, not to myths and misconceptions about vaccines, according to an official of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccinations.

Dr. Lulu Bravo

Dr. Lulu Bravo, Executive Director of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination said hearsays and misinterpretations about vaccines can be "deadly".

She gave the remark during the virtual press conference of the Sub-Technical Working Group on Vaccine Development on Wednesday. Dr. Bravo said that information about vaccines should be communicated well with the masses to restore the public's trust after it was greatly affected by the Dengvaxia controversy.

The controversy caused fear among some Filipinos and has been said to be a factor in the loss of confidence in vaccines and low immunization rates. Information drives such as interviews, media conferences are important to restore public trust and inform citizens about the significance of vaccination, said Dr. Bravo.

"Actually nga natutuwa ako dahil ngayon marami nang gustong makaalam tungkol sa bakuna. Napakadami nating kailangan matutuhan. Narerealize nila na hindi pala simple yung pag-aaral ng bakuna, na napakarami palang dapat malaman diyan (Actually, I'm elated because a lot are trying to find out information about vaccines. We need to learn a lot. The people are realizing that studying vaccines is not a simple matter, and that there is much to learn about it)," Dr. Bravo explained.

"Yun ang tinatawag natin na science and vaccine literacy kasi noong araw pa, noong mauso yang Dengvaxia na controversy, talaga namang hirap na hirap tayong magpaliwanag kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng bakit clinical trial, bakit siya naaprubahan ng FDA, ngayon unti-unti na nilang natututuhan (That is what we call science and vacine literacy because before when the Dengvaxia controversy erupted, it has been hard to explain the meaning of clinical trials, FDA approvals, but now the public is slowly learning)," she added.

Dr. Bravo said that she is willing to be a part of a regular press conference about vaccines especially now that everyone needs to be knowledgeable about it.

"Little knowledge is dangerous dahil kapag hindi ka nag communicate well at hindi effective ang communication mo yan ang isang papatay sa mga tao (Little knowledge is dangerous because if we cannot communicate well and were are not effective, it will cause deaths)," Dr. Bravo said.