MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday assured the public they will still be informed of the brand of the COVID-19 jabs available on the vaccination center, after the government prohibited localities from announcing the vaccine brands in advance.
In a statement following the development, the agency said the "education process" of a person who will receive the vaccine has been present at the inoculation site.
"Not announcing what brand will be available in inoculation sites will not take away the right of individuals to be informed of the vaccine they are taking, as the vaccination process entails on-site vaccine education, proper recording using vaccination cards, and monitoring for Adverse Events Following Immunization," the statement read.
Meanwhile, those who already got their first shot would still receive the same brand for their second dose, said the DOH.
They just have to make sure that they have their vaccine cards with them to ensure they will get the correct brand on their second dose.
"Nakalagay naman sa vax card yung first dose. It is more an operational concern that can be addressed by adhering to the guidelines on master listing, registration, and scheduling," a representative of the health department told reporters in a message.
(The brand of the first dose is written in the vax card)
The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier in the day directed all local government units to refrain from announcing the vaccine brands being offered at the inoculation site to supposedly prevent mass gatherings.
The individual scheduled for vaccination will be informed of the vaccine brand only at the site, said DILG Secretary Eduardo Año.
“The person will be informed of the brand in the vaccination center and he will have to give his informed consent but if he refuses, he will have to go back to the back of the line,” Año said in a statement.
Thousands of residents had flocked to vaccination sites in some Metro Manila cities offering Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine.
The DOH said the available jabs in the country have been issued with emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration and went under strict screening process, making them "safe and effective."
"All vaccines available now in the country are safe, effective, and have been found to reduce risk of severe illness and prevent death after completing the required doses."
The country has so far tallied 1.159 million COVID-19 cases, nearly 50,000 of which are considered active.
As of Tuesday, the government was able to administer almost 3.3 million COVID-19 shots, where over 2.5 million Filipinos already received their first dose.
Meanwhile, more than 786,000 Filipinos are already fully vaccinated against the respiratory disease -- still far from the 58 million minimum target by yearend to achieve herd immunity.