To address vaccine hesitancy, Misamis Oriental 2nd District Rep. Juliette Uy has urged the government to launch a massive information campaign on COVID-19 vaccination based on the regional language or dialect of the communities, especially in far-flung areas.
The vice chairperson of the House Committee on Appropriations made the call, as the government is expected to roll out its vaccination program by next month.
“Mas dadami ang gustong magpabakuna at mapapabilis ang pagbabakuna kapag ipinaliwanag ang siyensiya nito hindi lamang sa Ingles at Filipino, kundi pati na sa Cebuano, Maguindanao, Hiligaynon, Kiray-a, Waray, Bicol, Kapampangan, Ilocano, at iba pang mga wika sa Pilipinas,” she said in a statement.
(Many more will be convinced to have themselves inoculated and the vaccination will be expedited if the science behind the vaccination will be explained not only in English and Filipino, but also in Cebuano, Maguindanao, Hiligaynon, Kiray-a, Waray, Bicol, Kapampangan, Ilocano, and other languages in the Philippines.)
“Acceptability of the COVID-19 vaccines will grow if the science is laymanized and explained in the mother tongues of Filipinos. This is particularly important for the elderly and the migrants to the urban centers from the provincial hometowns,”
She welcomed the “good initial” efforts of the Department of Health (DOH) for translating the infographics on the details of COVID-19 vaccine trials in the country in Filipino language.
“I have seen the tagalized infographics of the DOH. Those are good initial efforts, but much more needs to be done,” she said.
“A multimedia integrated communications campaign must be quickly rolled out with doctors and nurses explaining in tv broadcasts, advertisements, videos, audio, and text-only posts the details the people need to know about the COVID-19 vaccines.”
She said to reach out to indigenous peoples, the government should tap and mobilize those specialists in their languages.
“The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and the language departments of the SUCs and private colleges and universities should be mobilized as well in the advocacy campaign,” she added.
The House leadership earlier vowed to review the Duterte government ’s national vaccination plan to help “fill the gaps.”
The House Committee on Health, chaired by Quezon 4th District Rep. Angelina “Helen” Tan, started its hearing on the government’s national vaccination plan last January 18 to ensure that the multibillion-peso budget allocated for inoculation will be used to procure the most effective and safest vaccine against the virus.