House leader urges gov’t to start massive info drive on COVID vaccines | Inquirer News
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House leader urges gov’t to start massive info drive on COVID vaccines

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 12:11 PM January 12, 2021
Deputy Speaker Neptali Gonzales

House Deputy Speaker Neptali Gonzales INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The national government, particularly the Department on Health, should launch a massive educational campaign on COVID-19 vaccines while the country is waiting for the arrival of the vaccines, Deputy Speaker Neptali Gonzales said Tuesday.

This is to educate the public on the real facts and dispel wrong information the public might have regarding the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, he said.

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“All the billions of pesos appropriated by the government will simply go to waste if a substantial number of the people targeted by the vaccination program of the government will just refuse to be vaccinated, out of fear borne out of lack of information and understanding of the advantages of having it,” Gonzales said.

It will also be difficult to achieve herd immunity if many people opt out of getting vaccinated against the deadly respiratory disease, he added.

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“A herd immunity will ensure that our economy will get back on track and our country will go back to normal” he noted.

Upon conducting an online survey in his district, he found that at least 70% of 1,100 respondents are against getting inoculated because of safety concerns and a basic lack of knowledge.

A massive information campaign drive should be expedited on the ground level so the government’s national vaccination program will be successful, Gonzales said.

A separate survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations showed that 66% of adult Filipinos are willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, with 32% who “definitely would get the vaccine” and 34% who “probably would get the vaccine.”

Thirty-one percent are not willing to get the vaccine, with 14% who “probably would not get the vaccine” and 17% who “definitely would not get the vaccine.”

The Philippines could achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 this year if the global supply of vaccines will be enough, Health Secretary Duque earlier said.

The DOH said that two types of COVID-19 vaccines may arrive in the country as early as February.

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The Philippines also earlier signed a deal with the Serum Institute of India for 30 million doses of the Covovax COVID-19 vaccine, which will be available by the third quarter of 2021.

The government also secured 2.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca through a tripartite agreement with local private firms.

The vaccines are expected to arrive by the second quarter of the year.

JPV

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TAGS: COVID-19 Vaccines, DoH, Gonzales, information drive campaign
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