Sotto calls for info drive on Covid-19 vaccines amid fake news
MANILA, Philippines— Amid rumors and fake news surrounding Covid-19 vaccines, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto on Tuesday pressed the government to carry out a nationwide information drive to convince people to get inoculated against the coronavirus.
Sotto particularly asked the Presidential Communications Operations Office to “double their efforts both in mainstream and social media” to help government provide accurate information about the vaccines.
“Maraming natatakot na magpa-bakuna dahil sa mga nagkalat na haka-haka at mga balitang nagsasabi na hindi naman ito epektibo laban sa COVID-19,” he said in a statement.
(Many are afraid to get vaccinated because there are a lot of speculations and news that vaccines are not effective against Covid-19.)
“Maliban pa rito, hindi rin malinaw sa publiko ang magiging sistema sa pagba-bakuna. Hangga’t malabo sa isipan ng tao kung ano ang magandang maidudulot ng bakuna sa kanilang kalusugan ay mahihirapan talaga ang pamahalaan na kumbinsihin sila na makiisa sa programang ito.”
(Aside from this, it’s not clear yet to the public how this vaccination system will be carried out. Unless the health benefits of these vaccines are explained to them, then the government would really have a hard time to convince them to participate in this program.)
The info drive, he said, should especially focus on urban poor communities and far-flung municipalities “where information are muddled by scary stories of bad side effects and even deaths in a post-vaccination scenario.”
“Alam naman natin ang impact ng tsismis at fake news lalo na sa ating mga kababayan na nakatira sa mga malalayong komunidad. Mahalagang maayos na maipaliwanag ng gobyerno na hindi makakasama sa kanila ang pagpapa-bakuna, kundi ay makakatulong ito para maproteksyunan sila laban sa COVID-19,” Sotto said.
(We know the impact of these rumors and fake news, especially to our countrymen living in far-flung communities. It’s important that the government should explain to them that getting the vaccines would help protect them against Covid-19)
To implement this info drive, the Senate leader said the government can tap local government units given their familiarity with their jurisdiction’s population profile and geography.
Medical personnel, he said, should likewise be included in the campaign because of their expertise on health issues.
“Let us work together towards stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Let us arm our people with knowledge so they can make informed choices,”Sotto added.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.