84% of Fire and Jail Officers willing to be vaccinated

Published February 26, 2021, 1:13 PM

by Chito Chavez

Eighty four percent of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) officers in Luzon agreed to be injected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine in a survey conducted during a vaccination town hall meeting with officials of both agencies.

(Photo by Phill Magakoe / AFP / FILE PHOTO)

The same survey revealed that four percent are unlikely to be inoculated and 12 percent remained unsure.

DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya continued to challenge the senior officers from both bureaus to be among the government’s COVID-19 national vaccination program champions. 

He stressed that the BJMP and BFP uniformed personnel should take the lead in relaying the correct information to their personnel and the public about vaccination benefits adding that the two agencies should work closely with the “DOH (Department of Health) and LGUs (local government units) to prepare for the rollout and spread accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccines.’’

Malaya pointed out that the DILG expects both agencies to be active partners in the government’s campaign to have 75 million Filipinos vaccinated.

The DILG official noted that the department will continue to conduct “more of these webinars with the PNP (Philippine National Police), BFP, and BJMP because acceptance of the vaccination program significantly improves once the participants hear directly from health professionals.’’

“This will be the largest vaccination program the country has ever implemented; thus it is imperative to harness mass communication in gaining the trust and confidence of the public,” Malaya said.

Expressing solidarity with partner agencies and the private sector in the fight against the virus Malaya compared COVID-19 death rate in the US of more than 500,000 to the Philippines’ 11,000+ saying “we have succeeded in controlling the transmission rate.’’

Citing the January report of the UP OCTA Research Group, Malaya said that 24 percent to 40 percent of Filipinos refuse to be vaccinated because they doubt their efficacy and safety. 

“All vaccines, regardless of brand, are safe and effective as long as it is approved by the FDA (Food and Drugs Authority),” Malaya stressed.