Go urges gov’t to intensify info campaign on a COVID-19 vaccination plan

Go urges gov’t to intensify info campaign on a COVID-19 vaccination plan

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — To boost public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go stressed the need for a comprehensive information campaign program and for government officials to volunteer to take COVID-19 vaccines in public.

“Tinanong ko po ang taumbayan kanina, kahit saan po ako umiikot. Sa kakaikot ko po, inisplika ko sa tao na ang tanging susi natin para unti-unti tayong makabalik sa normal na pamumuhay ay ang bakuna lamang po,” Go said during an ambush interview after he personally visited and distributed assistance to 413 typhoon victims in Pulilan, Bulacan.

“Ngunit sa katatanong ko sa kanila, kokonti lang po ang nagtataas ng kamay na willing po magpabakuna. Importante ngayon, kunin natin ang kumpiyansa ng bawat Pilipino na tanging pag-asa natin ang bakuna,” he added.

He noted that the government needs to improve its information and education campaign on COVID-19 vaccines which would greatly help in raising awareness, allaying fears, and boosting public confidence.

“Kulang po ang info campaign at kulang din po ang pagkukumbinsi sa tao kaya nga po nagkausap din kami ni Pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte, willing na willing po siya na magpabakuna at ipakita sa publiko na magtiwala po kayo,” he pointed out.

“Gusto nating pumunta sa MGCQ, eh, wala pa tayong (vaccine) rollout, so, kaya nga po my personal stand dito — no vaccine rollout, no MGCQ muna tayo dahil delikado pa pong luwagan natin. Paano natin ma-a-attain ang herd immunity,” Go added.

Meanwhile, the Senator urged government officials to be open to having them inoculated first in public to reassure Filipinos on the safety and efficacy of vaccines.

“LGUs, DOH (Department of Health), kung kailangan mauna kayo, ipakita n’yo sa publiko na mapagkakatiwalaan po ang vaccine,” he urged, adding that he himself is willing to be vaccinated first.

“Willing akong isa-publiko para makuha ang kumpiyansa ng ordinaryong Pilipino na ‘di nila alam ang epekto ng vaccine. Pero importante po sa akin ay dapat safe at effective po na vaccine ang iturok sa Pilipino. Ulitin ko: epektibo at safe na vaccine ang dapat na prayoridad natin,” he said.

In a separate statement, Go emphasized that the government must ensure that the vaccines to be used are proven safe and effective and are appropriate to the segment of the population they will be given to.

“Bilang chair ng Senate Committee on Health, kailangang masiguro natin na tanging mga ligtas at epektibo na bakuna lamang ang ituturok sa mga Pilipino at angkop dapat ito sa kalagayan o pangangailangan nila lalo na yung mga senior citizens at medical frontliners,” Go said.

He also asked the public to trust the Food and Drug Administration officials as they conducted a thorough study to inform their recommendations about the vaccines. However, he also asked experts and health authorities to be transparent and clarify the steps being made in regard to the vaccine roadmap.

“Magtiwala tayo sa mga eksperto at mga opisyal natin sa FDA dahil siguradong maingat at mabusisi ang lahat ng kanilang mga pag-aaral at rekomendasyon kung anong bakuna ang mas nararapat para sa partikular na sektor ayon sa ating vaccination priority list,” Go said.

“Gayunpaman, hinihimok ko rin ang ating mga eksperto at mga otoridad na linawin ang mga desisyong ginagawa ukol sa National Vaccination Roadmap. Bigyan natin ng tamang impormasyon ang ating mga kababayan para hindi sila matakot o mag-alinlangan na magpabakuna,” he added.

With regard to issues concerning Sinovac, Go said that he will ask FDA Dir. Gen. Eric Domingo regarding the conditions for its use.

“Ipaliwanag ninyo po sa paraang simple, maayos at madaling maintindihan ng mga ordinaryong Pilipino lalo na yung mga kababayan nating mahihirap at nasa malalayong lugar na hindi nga alam kung paano makakakuha, para saan, at ano ba ang bakunang pinaguusapan natin,” he said.

He also reiterated his appeals to all agencies concerned to expedite the procurement of sufficient vaccines and begin their roll-out at the soonest time possible, ensure the safety and efficacy of the vaccines to be used on specific sectors included in the vaccination priority list, and intensify further the information and education campaigns for our people to better understand the importance of vaccines in overcoming the pandemic.

“To my fellow Filipinos, makipagtulungan lang po tayo sa gobyerno nang sa gayon ay makabalik na tayo sa dati nating pamumuhay,” he ended. (AI/MTVN)

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