Robredo urges gov't to address vaccine hesitancy concerns

Published May 29, 2021, 12:19 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Vice President Leni Robredo is conflicted about the non-disclosure of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine brands in vaccination sites, saying this move was ideal but doubted if it will work in the Philippines.

VP Leni Robredo (Jansen Romero/Manila Bulletin)

In an interview with “Viewpoint” over the Now You Know Facebook page, Robredo said she liked the idea of being brand agnostic but said it may have a different effect.

“Ako, ideally, sana ganoon. Pero my fear on that is that baka baliktad yung effect na makuha natin (Personally, that is ideal. But my fear is it may have the opposite effect),” she said.

“Ideal yon (That is ideal) and that’s what other countries are doing but I’m not sure if it will work with us. So at this point hindi ko siya sinu-support (I am not supporting it),” she added.

“Baka (It’s possible that) if people are not informed of what vaccine they are getting, baka mas tumaas ang hesitance (vaccine hesitancy may just rise),” she continued.

In order for this to work, Vice President Robredo suggested for the government address the reasons behind the hesitance first.

“Vaccine hesitancy is real, fear of needles is real, and we want to address it,” she said.

“May mga sadyang takot talagang maturukan. Yung iba nakakarinig ng exaggerated stories ng side effects, yung iba naman may ayaw silang brand (There are those who do not really want to be vaccinated. Others heard of exaggerated stories about side effects, while some have preferred brands),” she added.

Robredo said even she found it difficult to convince her staff to get vaccinated.

“When I booked, pinasabihan ko na yung mga nag-urong-sulong na sumabay sa akin (I told those who were hesitating to join me),” she said.

“Mahabang kumbinsihan yun. Yung iba oo agad, yung oo pero parang napilitan lang. Meron talagang ayaw (It was not easy convincing them. Some said yes, some appeared forced, while some didn’t really want to),” she added.

President Duterte gave the non-disclosure order of vaccine brands following the huge crowds that formed in vaccination sites after the announcement that the Pfizer vaccine would be given.

Last week, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque explained that the brand will not be kept a secret to the public because it is their right to be informed. He said they will be informed on the vaccination site and can refuse if they prefer other brands.