Vaccine hesitancy remains to be a pain in the neck for the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and local government units (LGUs) which ultimately hinders the country from achieving herd immunity against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a provincial governor said Friday, Nov. 26.
Quezon Governor Danilo Suarez said many residents are still hesitatant to get the life-saving jab in their province because of fears about the vaccine’s side effects while others prefer the shots made by Western countries.
“Mayroon pa rin at ‘yong iba kasi may karamdaman na tinitingnan nila. May nagsasabi kasi na nagkakaroon ng side effect (There are those who refuse [to get vaccinated] and focus on people with medical issues. There are those who say that they experienced side effects),’’ Suarez said in an interview over ABS-CBN>
Suarez noted that there were false reports circulating about certain individuals in other countries who supposedly fell ill after getting vaccinated which contribute to vaccine hesitancy in the province.
“So ang mga isyung ‘yan pinipigil namin. Pinapaliwanag namin na ‘yan ay hindi totoo (Those are the issues that we are trying to control. We are explaining that these are false beliefs),’’ he added.
Suarez noted that the cities and towns in the province are besieged with persistent inquiries from people intending to line-up to get the jab when their preferred western brand COVID-19 vaccine will arrive.
Due to these vaccine preferential woes, Suarez stressed they will impose a “provincial policy’’ that is in accordance with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) regulations that people wishing to get inoculated should not choose the vaccine brand.
“We will impose that to the people kasi may konti din kami problema. Yung iba talagang ayaw pa rin magpa vaccine hanggang ngayon at natatakot sila sa mga side effect ( since we still have slight problems. There are some who really refused to be vaccinated for fear of the side effects),’’ Suarez lamented.
“Ngayon meron kaming bagong directive na ipalalabas na huwag tayong mamili (COVID-19 vaccines) sapagkat yan na rin ang guidance ngayon ng DOH (Department of Health). Kung ano yung available (COVID vaccine brand) ay tanggapin ng ating mga dapat na bigyan ng vaccine (Now we are coming out with a directive that forbids choosing the vaccine brand because this is now also the guidance of the DOH. What is available should be accepted by the people who should get the vaccine),’’ he noted.