MMDA chair wants to tap PBA players, influencers in public vaccine campaign
MANILA, Philippines — The government needs influencers, including basketball players and athletes, in raising public vaccine awareness to eliminate the preference for certain brands, the chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Wednesday.
“We need media influencers if this is the case in other areas, athletes, for example, PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) players,” MMDA chair Benhur Abalos told ABS-CBN News Channel when asked how the government can educate the public to eliminate their vaccine preferences.
“We need media influencers to explain these things. I’ll raise this up. PBA, the players, and the national athletes could really help here,” he added.
Abalos then urged the public to cooperate in the government’s vaccination drive, citing the hard work of medical frontliners and local chief executives in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic for over a year now.
“You know, our doctors, nurses, our mayors have been working for so long, seven days a week. They are very tired,” he said. “We do not really know what type of vaccines will come in. So in order for us to reach that herd immunity, we must all work together.”
“Bagsak na lang kami ng bagsak ng bakuna, trabaho na lang kami ng trabaho, ‘yung mga tao, please just cooperate. Pumunta kayo, and whatever [vaccine] we have right there, sasabihin naman namin sa inyo. Once you are there in the screening room, you will be informed of that [brand],” he added.
(We distribute vaccines and work hard. So to the public, please just cooperate. Go to the vaccination sites, and whatever vaccine we have right there, we will disclose it to you. Once you are in the screening room, you will be informed of the brand.)
In March, when the government was only starting its vaccination drive, Malacañang bared a proposal to allocate Sinovac Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine to 50 “influencers” consisting of public officials and movie personalities to boost vaccine confidence. However, this was rejected by the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group as it stressed the need to vaccinate medical frontliners first.
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