Education, not threats, is what will solve the vaccine hesitancy among Filipinos, a youth group told President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a statement Monday night, June 28, Juan Health PH, condemned Duterte’s threat to arrest Filipinos who refuse to get inoculated against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), saying these remarks “do not promote health nor social responsibility.”
The group urged Duterte to instead call for the advancement of health education, adding that a public health crisis needs the support of a “progress-oriented” leader, rather than a “violence-driven” one.
Filipinos, the group stressed, do not need more threats to their lives when they are already facing a battle against potential health risks.
“Knowledge, not fear, shall be instilled within the people in order for them to be convinced to get the vaccine; as the latter only causes panic,” it added.
The unequal access to education aggravated by rampant misinformation and disinformation on social media leads to further lapses in the state of health education, Juan Health PH noted.
“Willingness to undergo immunization will only be enforced if the people are informed of the relevance of vaccines in the fight against pandemic,” the group said.
Juan Health PH called on the government to strengthen health education and provide a better pandemic response.
“Blackmailing the Filipino people over a health issue is not, and will never be, an effective solution no matter how grave the intimidations may sound.”
Juan Health PH is a youth-led community aiming to disseminate factual information, alleviate health illiteracy, and combat vaccination hesitancy among Filipinos.
As of June 28, a total of 10,065,414 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have already been administered.
Of the number, 7,538,128 Filipinos have received their first dose, while, 2,527,286 individuals have already completed the required two doses.