DOH to launch 'massive' campaign on safety, efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine
In this photo taken on September 8, 2020, passengers wearing face shields sit next to plastic dividers, as part of health protocols imposed by authorities on passenger jeepneys against the COVID-19 coronavirus in Manila.
AFP/Ted Aljibe

DOH to launch 'massive' campaign on safety, efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine

(Philstar.com) - January 11, 2021 - 2:53pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health is gearing for a massive information drive for the safety and efficacy COVID-19 vaccines, following dismal survey results on public confidence in getting jabs against the coronavirus.

During the Senate Committee on Whole hearing into the National COVID-19 vaccination program, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said they will be engaging in a “massive social marketing campaign” to raise public confidence in vaccines.

A Pulse Asia survey showed that only 32% of Filipinos are willing to be inoculated with vaccine against COVID-19. A poll conducted by OCTA Research conducted among Metro Manila residents showed an even lower number, that only one out of four Filipinos or 25% are willing to receive COVID-19 jabs if a safe and effective vaccine becomes available.

Duque on Monday acknowledged that the Filipinos “very unfortunate experience” with the Dengvaxia vaccine affected confidence on vaccines. While the numbers rose since 2017, “more still needs to be done,” he said.

RELATED: Dengvaxia scandal haunts Philippines' COVID-19 vaccine rush | How the Dengvaxia scare helped erode decades of public trust in vaccines

Vaccination efforts in the country had been affected in recent years due to fears from a botched anti-dengue vaccination programs.  The highly-politicized controversy eroded public trust on vaccines, which took decades to establish, despite no established links of deaths resulting from Dengvaxia inoculation.

Criminal complaints had been filed against government officials over the Denvaxia program. Some have already reached the courts, while raps are still pending at the prosecution level.

Duque said: “We are working with the Philippine Information Agency, and we are producing videos, video production so that we can be able to show this to our people about hammering on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines that we will inoculate them with, and transparency is also very important in all of these."

Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III also called the health authorities’ attention to social media where memes are being shared poking fun on the effects of vaccine.

Duque also said they will tap the Philippine Medical Association and the Philippine Nurses Association in its information drive. “We need these advocates to really help us to explain to the public about the safety and efficacy and the immunogenicity of the vaccines,” he added.

The health secretary added that will also discuss the process in choosing the safest and the most effective vaccine.

Duque added: “We will have a strategy precisely to zero in on this low vaccine confidence of our people.” — Kristine Joy Patag

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 6, 2021 - 3:37pm

Follow this page for updates on the issues surrounding the COVID-19 vaccination program in the Philippines. Main photo from AFP/Yaksin Akgul.

January 6, 2021 - 3:37pm

British-Swedish pharmaceutical AstraZeneca has applied for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines.

Philippine Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo confirms this in an interview with CNN Philippines.

AstraZeneca, along with its partner Oxford University in England, has so far made 50 million doses of its vaccine. In November, the British laboratory announced that its vaccine was on average 70% effective.

January 5, 2021 - 8:32am

The Armed Forces of the Philippines terminates its investigation into the unregulated Sinopharm vaccination of President Rodrigo Duterte's security detail following the chief executive's order not to cooperate with the probe.

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