VP’s office says there’s ‘not enough’ communication on COVID-19 vaccine benefits

Published January 11, 2021, 2:53 PM

by Raymund Antonio

“What are they aiming for?”

This is the question posed by Vice President Leni Robredo’s spokesman, Ibarra Gutierrez, in reply to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque’s claim that the government is already working to address the Filipinos’ fears of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Kung ‘ginagawa’ na pala, at 47% pa rin ng mga Pilipino ang ayaw magpa-bakuna, at 32% lang ang bukas, hindi ba kulang ang ginagawa? Ano ba hinahabol niyo, participation award?” Gutierrez said in a Twitter post.

(If they already doing it (communication) and 47% of Filipinos don’t want to be inoculated with the vaccine, and only 32% are willing, doesn’t it mean that what (they’re) doing is not enough? What are they aiming for, (a) participation award?)

Roque answered Robredo’s earlier suggestion to ramp up communication efforts to allay people’s fears about the vaccine.

The presidential spokesman said that the government is already doing what the vice president has been suggesting.

But Gutierrez was referring to the Pulse Asia survey which showed that only 32% of Filipinos who participated in the survey would get themselves inoculated if the vaccine is already available. About 84% of those unwilling voiced concerns about the safety of the vaccine.

The same survey showed that in Class E, 56% are unwilling to be vaccinated with 79% of them saying the primary reason is the vaccine’s safety, 10% are concerned that it may not be safe, and 9% believing that the vaccine is not needed to fight the virus.