Duque: Vaccine confidence should not be based on brand
MANILA, Philippines — The confidence of Filipinos on COVID-19 vaccines should not be based on brands, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Thursday, after huge crowds turned up to get the limited Pfizer doses in the cities of Manila and Parañaque earlier this week.
In a statement, Duque said that all COVID-19 vaccines with emergency use authorization are safe and effective and have gone through an evaluation process before its rollout.
“We have to be reminded that vaccine confidence should be built in the stringent processes that lead to the vaccine development, local authorization, and recommended use of these vaccines, and definitely not by the brand,” said Duque.
He also maintained that the best vaccines are the ones currently available, regardless of the brand.
“As more vaccine supplies become readily available, I encourage everyone to take the earliest opportunity to get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines give additional protection against COVID-19 to prevent hospitalization and death,” said Duque. “We, at DOH, call on the public to choose to be vaccinated to protect yourselves and your loved ones, the soonest possible time.”
The DOH has urged local government units not to announce the brand of vaccines to be used in vaccination centers ahead of inoculation activities to prevent crowding that could be “superspreader” events for coronavirus.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) later adopted this recommendation, saying that the brand of vaccines to be administered will only be disclosed on-site before inoculation.
“The best vaccine is the one that is available. Therefore in order to overcome brand preference, LGUs (local government units) should not announce the brand of vaccine to be used in vaccination centers,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a separate statement.
“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 noted.
Año said that while local government units will no longer announce the vaccine brand to be used, beneficiaries can still choose not to get inoculated once informed of the vaccine brand on-site.
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