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Vaccine brand preference a challenge for government – Binay
“There was apprehension because some people disliked China- and Russia-made vaccines. Because of Western culture mentality, we like American brands,” Binay told the Kapihan sa Manila Bay online forum yesterday.
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Vaccine brand preference a challenge for government – Binay

Ghio Ong (The Philippine Star) - May 13, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — With more COVID-19 vaccines arriving in the country, the vaccination programs of local governments are challenged by people becoming picky about their choice of vaccine brand, according to Makati City Mayor Abby Binay.

“There was apprehension because some people disliked China- and Russia-made vaccines. Because of Western culture mentality, we like American brands,” Binay told the Kapihan sa Manila Bay online forum yesterday.

The country currently holds four brands in its inventory – Sinovac from China, British-Swedish drug firm AstraZeneca, Russian-made Sputnik V and American-German brand Pfizer/BioNTech.

Binay noted that some Filipinos prefer Western-made jabs, wary of vaccines not made by American or other Western drug companies.

“People who have chosen a vaccine brand would back out when they learned that another brand they desired has arrived,” she said.

To solve the problem, Binay said the city government plans to create a COVID-19 vaccine lottery system that would be “transparent” and “acceptable” for choosy vaccine recipients.

“All of the brands have the same effect. They will give you 100-percent protection against hospitalization and death, regardless of efficacy,” Binay stressed.

Binay said the city government inoculated over 50,000 people using Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines from the national government. She hoped Makati’s order of one million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine for city residents and employees of city-based businesses would arrive in July.

On Tuesday, Makati received 5,800 doses of Pfizer vaccine, enough for 2,900 people. The following day, the city government inoculated priority recipients, including health workers, at the Makati Medical Center. The Pfizer vaccine should be given in two doses within 21 days for maximum efficacy.

Meanwhile, the Muntinlupa City government said it finished vaccinating residents with the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine. A total of 28,635 residents have been jabbed with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines, with 21,474 inoculated with Sinovac, 4,182 with AstraZeneca and 2,979 with Sputnik V.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi received an AstraZeneca vaccine.

Maximize gov’t media

Ang Probinsiyano party-list Rep. Ronnie Ong urged the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to maximize state-owned media in the government’s pandemic-related information campaign.

“PCOO should maximize the potential of its various information dissemination assets like the Philippine Information Agency, Philippine News Agency and Philippine Broadcasting Network to increase people’s awareness on the deadly consequences of the virus,” Ong said, adding that the agency has a vast network of media agencies and bureaus nationwide.

Rep. Precious Hipolito-Castelo, for her part, called on the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emrging Infectious Diseases and the Department of Health to begin house-to-house vaccination through the help of local government units (LGUs).

“The government can persuade many of those who are hesitant to take the jab to get vaccinated if LGU teams knock on their doors and explain the benefits of taking it. We can speed up vaccination and achieve herd immunity and return to normal life at the soonest if we do immunization through home-to-home visits and other means to get our people to take the vaccine,” she concluded. – Delon Porcalla

COVID-19 VACCINE
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