LGUs no longer allowed to disclose vaccine brands in advance – DILG
MANILA, Philippines — After the Department of Health (DOH) pushed for a “brand agnostic” COVID-19 immunization campaign, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday said local government units (LGUs) will no longer announce in advance the brand of vaccines to be given.
Instead, the brand of vaccines will only be disclosed to vaccinees on-site before inoculation.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año issued the directive following the DOH’s suggestion that the brand of the available vaccine should no longer be announced.
According to Año, the directive was issued to make people overcome the preference for vaccine brands, adding that to achieve herd immunity, people should get vaccinated with the vaccine that is already available for use.
“The best vaccine is the one that is available; therefore in order to overcome brand preference, LGUs should not announce the brand of vaccine to be used in vaccination centers,” Año said.
“Given that every single day of delay increases the risk of COVID transmission or infection, it is imperative the people get vaccinated immediately using the available vaccine,” he added.
He explained that while LGUs will not be allowed to announce the vaccine brand, the individual can still choose not to get inoculated once informed of the vaccine brand on-site.
“The person will be informed of the brand in the vaccination center and he will have to give his informed consent but if he refuses, he will have to go back to the back of the line,” Año said.
This will also prevent mass gatherings and long lines that occur when brands are announced beforehand, according to Año.
“We need to educate the people in order to overcome brand preference. All FDA-approved vaccines are just Emergency Use Authorization. They are all similarly situated. Our health experts have repeatedly said that there is none that is more effective than the other. All of them prevent hospitalization or critical illness from COVID. That is what is important,” he added.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that an advisory will be issued by the Department to all LGUs following the announcement of Secretary Año.
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