Transparency key to convincing public to receive vaccine

SPAIN. A health worker prepares a vaccine for members of Madrid Emergency Service in Madrid, Spain in this Jan. 12, 2021 photo. (File)

AN OFFICIAL of the Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, said transparency is one of the key factors in gaining the trust of the public and convincing them to get themselves inoculated.

“One of the key factors is transparency from the government to ensure that we have a safe and efficacious vaccine - kanino po tayo nakikipag-usap, what are the side effects, pag lumabas na ang emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA, what does it mean,” DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said in a virtual forum Tuesday.

“We need to be transparent on our dealings para makita nila na walang tinatago (to show that we are not hiding anything). That’s one way of getting the support and confidence,” she added.

The DOH has tapped the media to help disseminate correct information on the government’s vaccination plan.

Suzan Kerba of the World Health Organization said delivering the facts about the vaccine, especially in the language and literacy level of the audience, plays a vital role as it will make them understand better, easier and there is a higher chance they will be motivated to receive vaccination.

She said presenting data, research studies about the vaccine and the people behind it will also build the people’s confidence.

Kerba said social media is also a good way of reaching people and disseminating information.

“Social media as a general rule is a great way to reach people in rural areas who may not have access to smart phone but without access to a broader range of information a key component of risk communication is to meet people where they are and if they are on social that where you need to be,” she said.

With the first shipment of vaccines expected to be delivered in February, DOH has launched an information campaign to reach the government target to vaccinate 50 million to 70 million Filipinos against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said the police and military will be tapped to ensure peace and order in the implementation of the vaccination plan.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said military personnel with medical background were undergoing training for the vaccination program.

Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, Philippine National Police deputy chief for administration, said the task of the police is to provide assistance to those who would administer the vaccine.

He said they are also ready to deploy their medical corps and health service units if required.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said they expect delivery of 50,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine on February 20.

He assured that the government is ready with cold chain facilities, including those that are capable of storing of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines at an ultra-low temperature of -80 to -60 degrees Celsius. (SunStar Philippines)


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