CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan–In cooperation with the Provincial Health Office-Public Health, the Provincial Government of Bulacan through its Provincial Public Affairs Office (PPAO) held the Media Literacy on COVID-19 Vaccine Program for media practitioners on Feb. 18.
On behalf of Gov. Daniel Fernando, Maricel Santos-Cruz, PPAO head, acknowledged the role of the media in giving the public access to credible, correct and up-to-date information to help them understand the importance of vaccines.
Theresa Marie Bondoc, Health Education and Promotion Officer III from the Department of Health’s Central Luzon Center for Health Development, discussed the 10 must-knows with about the COVID-19 vaccine including the importance of vaccination, brands of vaccines to be used, priority groups, date and place of vaccination and steps to do before, during and after vaccination.
Bondoc explained the vaccine prevents severe infection and transmission, and vaccines that were approved and given Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration are Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
“Richest countries worked and joined hand in hand to expedite the research and development process of the vaccine, but that doesn’t mean that we skip the step, masusi po itong pinag-aralan (this was thoroughly studied),” said Bondoc.
Included in priority eligible group A are frontline health workers, indigent senior citizens, remaining senior citizens, remaining indigent population and uniformed personnel; while group B includes teachers and social workers, other government workers, other essential workers outside health, socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk other than indigent senior citizens and indigent population, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and other remaining workforce; and Group C includes all remaining Filipinos.
She said vaccines are free and an individual will receive the same brand for two doses and will be monitored until after the vaccination.
“The LGUs in constant coordination with the DOH will determine the venue and time of vaccination. Pinapaalala din po na kahit mabakunahan na, kailangan pa ring sumunod sa health protocols tulad ng pagsusuot ng face masks, face shield at palagiang paghuhugas ng kamay,” (You are advised that even if you are vaccinated, you still need to follow health protocols like wearing face masks, face shield and regular handwashing),” Bondoc said.
She added that a person can refuse to be vaccinated but will forfeit his slot according to the prioritization guidelines and will be scheduled after everyone has been vaccinated.
People with allergies to the contents of the vaccine will also be exempted. The COVID-19 Vaccination Program aims to provide free, effective and high-quality vaccines, prioritizing those who are most at risk and most vulnerable populations.