To boost public confidence on and allay fears over coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Tuesday reiterated to the national government the need for a more massive information campaign to educate the public on the COVID-19 vaccine roadmap.
The roadmap—which details the process on how the country may acquire the vaccines, their delivery to the public, and the organizational chart of officials who will spearhead their acquisition and delivery, among others—seeks to ensure the cost-effective, safe and efficient delivery of the vaccines to all Filipinos.
Go said that the government might need to do more when it comes to its information dissemination campaign and educating the public on the vaccine roadmap.
Such awareness building initiatives are needed to build vaccine confidence among Filipinos and sustain cooperation, he explained.
Go also urged concerned government agencies to explain the national vaccine roadmap to the public so they could understand the entire process, allaying fears and uncertainties.
Public apprehension about getting inoculated with the vaccine was reflected in a Pulse Asia survey released on January 7 which showed that only 32 percent of Filipinos are willing to be inoculated with the vaccine against COVID-19.
Aside from mitigating fears, Go said that explaining the vaccine roadmap thoroughly will address concerns on fake news and misinformation.
“Bukod sa COVID-19, nakakamatay din ang maling balita. Kung gusto talaga natin na magkaroon ng kumpiyansa ang tao sa bakuna, kailangan nilang maintindihan kung ano ito at ano ang plano ng gobyerno ukol dito,” Go noted. (Aside from COVID-19, fake news kills. They need to have confidence in the vaccine, they need to understand what it is and what are the plans of government on this vaccine.)
He added that other processes related to the delivery of the vaccines must be explained to Filipinos.
“Hindi lang naman ito usapin ng pagkakaroon ng bakuna. Kailangang paghandaan din ang storage, logistics and transportation ng mga bakunang ito,” he added. (This is not only a discussion on the availability of vaccines. We need to plan their storage, logistics and transportation.)
Meanwhile, Go assured the public that he would continue to work closely with the executive branch to ensure the systematic facilitation of the vaccine plan and the prioritization of key vulnerable sectors as expressed by the President.
He, then, stressed the commitment of the government to prioritize the poor and vulnerable sectors, as well as frontliners, including medical workers, teachers and uniformed personnel once a safe and effective vaccine is determined.
“Kapag may safe at effective na vaccine na po, sang-ayon ako sa plano ng ating Pangulo na unahin ang mga mahihirap, mga parte ng vulnerable sectors, at ang ating mga frontliners, tulad ng mga guro, medical workers at uniformed personnel,” he said. (When these vaccines are declared safe and effective, I agree with President that the first ones to be inoculated are the poor, those in the vulnerable sectors and our frontliners, like the teachers, medical workers and uniformed personnel.)
Go also reminded Filipinos that the ‘’bayanihan’’ (community efforts must continue for the country to fully overcome the crisis.