MANILA - The Philippines' vaccine czar on Monday said the government is preparing for the rollout of its COVID-19 vaccination program, amid the decreasing vaccine confidence among Filipinos.
Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. said he and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III have started visiting cold chain facilities in preparation for the arrival of the country's vaccine orders.
He also said Filipinos have nothing to worry about since the brands that the government bought have already been administered to millions of people around the world.
"Para magkaroon ng confidence ang ating mga mamamayan, 'yung halos apat dito po sa nakuha natin na vaccine ay widely-used na po, katulad po ng Pfizer, na kukuha rin po tayo, may 35 million na po na nabakunahan," Galvez said.
(So that the public would have confidence in the vaccination program, the four brands that we ordered are widely-used. For example, Pfizer, which we will also be buying, have been administered to 35 million people.)
Galvez also said the government, with the help of the private sector, has started its information campaign to boost vaccine confidence.
"Bumababa po 'yung willingness at uptick nung atin pong mga kababayan dahil nga po sa mga nakikitang adverse effects ng certain brands. At the same time, malakas po 'yung social media ng mga anti-vaxxers," he said.
(The public's willingness has decreased due to the adverse effects of some certain brands of vaccines. At the same time, anti-vaxxers also have strong social media presence.)
A recent study of independent research group OCTA Research showed that only 1 out of 4, or 25 percent of Metro Manila residents are willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The remaining 75 percent of respondents are mostly undecided (47 percent) or unwilling to be vaccinated (28 percent).