The country’s coronavirus vaccine supplies are already in the pipeline, according to the government, but vaccine hesitancy remains a lingering concern.
So how does Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles try to convince Filipinos that the vaccines are safe to take? He got creative and used TikTok to dance and spread the word about the government’s vaccination program.
Five amateur dance videos related to vaccine information have so far been posted by the former Davao lawmaker, who has more than 24,000 followers on TikTok.
The same TikTok videos were shared on his Instagram page. Nograles, also co-chairs the government task force in charge of making policies related to pandemic response, is known for his fondness for dancing.
Appearing in casual clothes and sneakers, Nograles started taking on dance challenges on TikTok, the popular short form social media app, early this month while promoting the immunization drive. As he danced to catchy tunes, he answered questions to address vaccine concerns and promote public confidence.
Nograles’ first vaccine-related TikTok dance video was about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. The video he uploaded has so far earned more than 7,000 views.
“Bago aprubahan ng FDA (Food and Drug Admnistration), dadaan muna ang mga bakuna sa masusing pagsusuri ng DOST-Vaccine Expert Panel. I-momonitor naman ng Adverse Effect Following Immunization Committee ang mga aprubadong bakuna upang masigurong ligtas at epektibo ang mga ito (Before the FDA gives an approval, the vaccines must pass the thorough check of the DOST-Vaccine Expert Panel. The Adverse Effect Following Immunization Committee will then monitor the approved vaccines to ensure they are safe and effective),” the message in the video read.
Another video showed Nograles grooving to the popular song “Dancing In My Room” while addressing a query if vaccines will eventually be sold in pharmacies and clinics.
“Sa ngayon, tanging ang gobyerno lang ang authorized na bumili at mangasiwa ng mga COVID-19 vaccines. Habang wala pang ful market authorization mula sa FDA, ang COVID-19 vaccine ay hindi maaaring inbenta sa publiko (At present, only the govenrment is authorized to buy and administer COVID-19 vaccines. While there is no full market authorization from the FDA, the COVID-19 vaccine cannot be sold to the public),” he said.
Herd immunity was the next topic of Nograles’ third video. He danced to Wale’s song “Lotus Flower Bomb” while explaining that this referred to the buildup of immunity of a large population from an infectious disease. The video was viewed more than 42,000 times.
Nograles’ fourth dance video was so far the most popular with more than 91,000 views. The video, posted a week ago, tackled the list of beneficiaries of the vaccines while Nograles danced to 1096 Gang’s “Pajama Party.”
When a netizen asked about the assurance there will be no VIP treatment on who first gets the vaccine, Nograles said the priority will be given to healthcare and frontline workers, vulnerable sectors like senior citizens, and essential workers.
Nograles posted his fifth dance video on TikTok early this week, joining the #BIDADanceChallenge to raise awareness against the coronavirus.
“B-awal walang mask; I-sanitize ang mga kama; D-umistansya ng 1 meter; A-lamin ang totoong impormasyon; Suportahan ang FDA-approved na bakuna,” the message read.
With more than 550,000 confirmed cases across the country and counting, the government has been struggling to curb the spread of pandemic, and mitigate its impact on the economy and the people.
Faced with an economic downturn and rising hunger, the government is studying the proposal to further ease movement restrictions, particularly, placing the entire country under the most relaxed community quarantine status by March. The President will have the final say on the matter.
The government has likewise pinned its hopes on the coronavirus vaccines to help bring back a semblance of normalcy in the country. Vaccine supplies have been secured by the government, but delivery has been derailed due to logistical and regulatory issues.