PNP directs precincts: Launch info campaign to convince more Filipinos to get vaccinated

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
PNP directs precincts: Launch info campaign to convince more Filipinos to get vaccinated
A health worker administers the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to a woman at FilOil Flying V Centre (San Juan Arena) on May 12, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police has ordered its chiefs of police to assist the national government in its information dissemination campaign to convince more Filipinos to be vaccinated against the coronavirus on both the community level and in social media.

In a statement sent to reporters, Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said that the PNP could use its Oplan Bandillo program as one of the platforms in convincing the people in their areas of responsibility to educate the public on the benefits of vaccines and eventually convince them to be vaccinated.

The community awareness and information dissemination program, where local police forces use megaphones and speaker systems during their regular beat patrol, has been used to encourage people to observe the minimum health and safety standard protocol since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aside from the community engagement program, though, Eleazar said that the PNP social media accounts down to the local police stations can be used as a platform for the information campaign aimed at convincing more people to trust the vaccination program.

Information dissemination amid withheld brand information?

The directive comes amid the latest Social Weather Stations survey which found that only 51% of Filipinos expressed confidence in the COVID vaccination program of the government. 

A 2018 study of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine noted that the country’s “highly-politicized response” to the reported risks posed by Dengvaxia has eroded overall public trust in immunization.

Eleazar's call for intensified information dissemination, however, comes in the middle of government efforts to withhold brand information from those already willing to be vaccinated. 

To recall, both the health and interior departments directed local government units "to refrain from announcing the brand of vaccines" to the public. 

This, they said, was to avoid the mass gatherings of people who are after a particular brand of the coronavirus jabs.

RELATED: DILG directs LGUs: Only disclose vaccine brands on-site instead of announcing | Metro Manila mayors support 'brand agnostic' vaccine policy

Hesitancy within PNP 'improving'

Eleazar said that the police also noted positive development every day using "fact sheets and videos from the Department of Health."

The PNP chief disclosed that only 51% of the more than 220,000 personnel of the police force were willing to be vaccinated in a survey among PNP personnel in February. The number has since skyrocketed to 84%.

“Every day, we monitored some of our personnel who initially declined being vaccinated changing their mind. And we attribute this to our aggressive information drive,” he said.

“This is what we want to replicate in our communities to increase the number of those convinced to get vaccinated. This is important because our return to normal hinges on vaccination."

The narrative that achieving herd immunity is the only way out for the country has long been pushed by President Rodrigo Duterte. 

But calls for mass testing and intensive contact tracing continue to resound but go largely unanswered.

Program doesn't inspire confidence

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr earlier said that the government is targeting the vaccination of essential workers and indigent Filipinos by next month as more vaccine supplies arrived in the country in the past days.

However, Galvez at the coronavirus task force's regular addresses continues to present only the country's total doses administered, under which the country is top 5 in Southeast Asia.

As of the DILG's latest update the country's vaccination numbers include:

  • As of mid-May, 7,149,020 out of 7,779,050 COVID-19 vaccine doses were already deployed to vaccination centers nationwide.
  • Of these, 3,001,875 vaccine doses have been administered; 2,282,273 were given as a first dose while 719,602 doses were used for the second dose.

Per Our World in Data, though, the Philippines is among the worst countries in the world when it comes to vaccine per population. 


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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: April 12, 2023 - 2:59pm

The national government has so far secured two official deals for COVID-19 vaccine supplies in the Philippines, one with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac and another with the Serum Institute of India.

Watch this space for bite-sized developments on the vaccines in the Philippines. (Main image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

April 12, 2023 - 2:59pm

Health Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire says the general population may now get their second booster jab.

"We're just waiting for the release of implementing guidelines, then we'll start rolling out our second booster for the general population," she says. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

August 23, 2022 - 10:12am

Amid questions on vaccines being administered, the Department of Health assures the public all doses are safe and effective as the “process of extending shelf life goes through thorough stability studies.”

“The government ensures that every vaccine that is injected with an extended shelf life has gone through studies, and is still safe and effective against COVID-19,” it adds.

January 4, 2022 - 9:06am

Government must increase vaccination capacity across the Philippines in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant of the corona virus, Sen. Risa Hontiveros says.

She says local government units and the private sector can work together to put up more vaccination centers and deploy more vaccination teams to get more people inoculated against COVID-19.

"The active COVID cases have nearly doubled in three days. The positivity rate is almost four times the ceiling set by the World Health Organization. Huwag na nating hintayin na sobrang lumala pa ang sitwasyon bago tayo gumawa ng paraan para mapabilis ang ating pagbabakuna."

December 23, 2021 - 11:44am

FDA chief Eric Domingo says that its agency has given emergency approval for the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

November 11, 2021 - 7:30am

The United States immunized around 900,000 children aged five-to-11 against Covid in the first week the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for them, a White House official says Wednesday.

Roughly 700,000 more have made appointments at pharmacies, White House Covid coordinator Jeff Zients tells reporters.

"The program is just getting up to full strength," he says, adding most of the shots were given in the last couple of days alone. — AFP

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