The Department of Health and the Department of Science and Technology on Friday, April 16, said the Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) is objective in evaluating the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines being used in the country.
In a statement, the DOH and DOST said this is contrary to insinuations that the VEP is only promoting one brand of vaccines.
It added that the panel is guided by science in evaluating vaccines.
The DOST created the VEP as DOST as part of the vaccine selection and evaluation structure under the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). The VEP is composed of vaccine experts, technical experts, and scientists who will identify, evaluate, and recommend possible vaccine candidates for the Philippines.
The DOH and DOST then appealed to the media to exercise caution when reporting potentially misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines.
“Vaccines are safe and vaccines are effective and we all know this. Let us work together to help Filipinos better understand the benefits of vaccines. In times of crisis, vaccines can spell the difference between life and death,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
“In times of crisis, clear and effective communication can spell the difference between life and death. We have seen how crucial clear and effective communication is and it is for this very reason that we continue to expand our capacities to communicate always in pursuit of equipping Filipinos with the right knowledge to protect not only themselves but their loved ones as well,” she added.
The DOH and DOST said that all vaccines were safe and effective in protecting against the severe form of COVID-19 and that COVID-19 vaccines would prevent hospitalization due to severe disease.
The government urged everyone to be a BIDA+ citizen and share verified information with the public.