Duterte, Robredo together in ‘ad’ for COVID-19 jabs? Why not, says senator | Inquirer News
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To boost public confidence in vaccines

Duterte, Robredo together in ‘ad’ for COVID-19 jabs? Why not, says senator

/ 06:05 PM May 20, 2021
Leni Robredo and Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo (INQUIRER.net file photo)

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo should release a “joint public service announcement” that would boost public confidence in the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, Senator Joel Villanueva suggested Thursday.

This, as the senator stressed that among the problems being faced by the government’s inoculation drive is “vaccine hesitancy in general” and not the “brand rejection” among the public.

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“Ang isang mungkahi po natin, maglabas ng isang joint public service announcement ang Pangulo at ang Bise Pangulo [A suggestion that we can give is for the president and the vice president to release a joint public service announcement]. This is the kind of ad that will be effective in convincing a large part of our population that vaccines are safe,” Villanueva said in a statement.

“Ito po ang tambalang nakikita nating mabisa na pangontra sa mga fake news [This is a tandem that would be an effective measure against fake news]. Both are vaccine recipients, and are living proof that vaccines do no harm,” he added.

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The senator issued his suggestion after the Department of Health (DOH) pushed for a “brand agnostic” COVID-19 vaccination drive.

The DOH urged local government units (LGUs) not to announce the brand of vaccines to be used in vaccination centers ahead of inoculation activities in order to prevent large crowds that could be “superspreader” events for coronavirus.

But Villanueva pointed out that “vaccine agnosticism will not work without vaccine advocacy.”

“We have to educate  before we inoculate. Sadly much still needs to be done in this area. There is only one vaccine against fake news and that is truth told in a convincing manner,” he said.

“But the biggest problem actually is not brand rejection among the people, but vaccine hesitancy in general. Informed choice cannot be substituted with a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ policy,” he added.

Following the DOH’s recommendation, 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.

The vaccine brand will only be disclosed to vaccine recipients on-site before inoculation instead.

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TAGS: coronavirus vaccines, President Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Joel Villanueva, Vice President Leni Robredo
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