MANILA – The Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV), a non-profit organization that advocates immunization, has underscored the need to restore vaccine confidence in the country as the rollout for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) inoculation in the Philippines nears.
PFV executive director Dr. Lulu Bravo pointed out that vaccine hesitancy still exists among many Filipinos, worsen by “anti-vaxxers” on social media.
“Importante na magkaroon tayo ng tiwala or vaccine confidence dahil dito sa parte ng mundo natin, ang Pilipinas ang isa sa may pinaka-mataas na distrust sa bakuna (It’s important that we have trust or vaccine confidence because, in this part of the world, the Philippines is among the countries with high distrust on vaccine),” she said in a radio interview.
“Mag-restore muna tayo ng confidence sa bakuna kasi kung ang bakuna dadalhin dito sa Pilipinas at gagamitin at ang makikita nila mga naninira or mga magdedemanda sa bakuna, hindi ba kung ikaw ‘yong kumpanya ba’t mo dadalhin dito (Let’s restore confidence in vaccines first. If you are the company, would you still bring it here if you are seeing a lot of attack against your vaccine)?” she added.
Bravo said vaccines had been saving millions of lives for the past centuries but clarified that no existing vaccine is 100-percent free from side-effects.
“Hindi makaka-guarantee na walang side effect sa isang tao ang bakuna kasi iba-iba nga ang reaksyon ng mga tao, mayroong magkakaroon ng mild lang or severe, ang pinaka-severe ay anaphylactic shock or severe allergy (You cannot guarantee that everyone will be side-effect-free when they take the vaccine because the reaction varies from the body of a person, some may develop mild while some may have it severe, but the most severe is anaphylactic shock or severe allergy),” she said.
Bravo said despite these risks, getting vaccinated is better than contracting deadly diseases.
“(May) 230 years na ang bakuna, iyan ang pinakamabisang panlaban sa sakit kaya tayo nabubuhay ng matagal sa mundo, kaya milyon-milyon ang naisasalba na buhay ay dahil sa bakuna, nauna pa yang bakuna kaysa sa mga antibiotics (Vaccines have been there for 230 years, that’s the most effective way to combat diseases, that’s the reason we live longer now, it’s even older than antibiotics),” she said.
In 2019, the Department of Health cited a “loss of public confidence” in vaccines due to several factors including fear and growing distrust against it after the Dengvaxia controversy. (PNA)