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Lawmaker to media outlets: Help in government vaccination info drive
Quezon City (5th District) Rep. Alfred Vargas said under the relevant sections of each of the franchise to operate granted by Congress, radio and TV stations are mandated to provide free public service airtime to government during emergencies and calamities in the amount of 10 percent of paid advertisements they air.
STAR/ File

Lawmaker to media outlets: Help in government vaccination info drive

(The Philippine Star) - March 1, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — With the vaccine rollout now starting in the country, a lawmaker yesterday called on owners of radio stations, newspapers, TV Cable and government stations to help convince the public to accept vaccination as the best solution to beat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quezon City (5th District) Rep. Alfred Vargas said under the relevant sections of each of the franchise to operate granted by Congress, radio and TV stations are mandated to provide free public service airtime to government during emergencies and calamities in the amount of 10 percent of paid advertisements they air.

Vargas, House vice chairperson of the committee on public information,   said the move could be a contribution of private sector owners to the government's information campaign to reduce vaccine hesitancy.

He said he would meet with PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar and owners of TV, radio and print outlets to help in the campaign.

“I call on members of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas and print organizations to join hands with the government in a united effort to convince our people and promote vaccine confidence.”

Recent research showed that a big number of Filipinos are hesitant to be vaccinated as a result of several issues such as the dengvaxia hysteria, vaccine efficacy, and not enough information.

Dr. Lulu Bravo, executive director of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination, explained that there are many people who are willing to be vaccinated if they are provided the correct information on the effects of the vaccines on their health.

"If we are able to answer and explain all their questions, many more will be willing to be vaccinated," Bravo said.

“All types of vaccines are meant to do one thing and it is to induce immunity against the virus. In Israel, where they have vaccinated over 70 percent of the population with the first shot, there has been a 90 percent decrease in symptomatic corona virus disease,” medical expert and member of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging  Infectious Diseases Dr Edcel Salvana said.

Vargas said "only through a wide range and united public information campaign would correct information be cascaded nationally," adding that this would be a crucial step toward reversing vaccine hesitancy in the country and generate public acceptance.

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