MANILA — The BBM-Sara UniTeam asked the government to ramp up vaccination efforts in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and aid communities to address vaccine hesitancy.
Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. and vice-presidential aspirant Sara Duterte were alarmed at reports that BARMM has the lowest vaccination rates among the regions in the country.
According to the National Task Force Against COVID-19, as of November 14, there are already 324,246 fully vaccinated individuals in BARMM. This figure represents only 7.59 percent of the estimated 4.7 million population in the region.
Reports also said that vaccine refusal and hesitancy among the residents in the region remains high despite the risks of hospitalization or dying from the disease.
“We are appealing to the national government to devote more resources to the vaccination campaign in the BARMM region. We must do everything we can to reach out to more people and convince them that getting vaccinated is the only path towards normalcy,” Marcos Jr. said.
The BBM-Sara UniTeam also encouraged local government units (LGUs) to conduct massive information campaigns on social media to dispel misinformation about vaccines.
“LGUs should also tap the power of social media platforms as an alternative means to reach out. Maybe this one time, we can all be a ‘Maritess’ for vaccination. Instead of spreading gossip, let’s all help to ensure that correct information on vaccines reaches those who are hesitant,” Marcos Jr. said.
The tandem also suggested increasing BARMM’s allocation of mobile vaccination sites, cold-chain vehicles, and vaccine refrigerators to ensure that the jabs reach even remote communities.
“We are also appealing to the families of the unvaccinated to encourage their love-ones to get vaccinated. They need to realize that they would also be putting the lives of their entire family by refusing to be vaccinated,” Marcos Jr. added.
The national government will be conducting another round of ‘Bayanihan, Bakunahan’ vaccination days from December 15 to 17, including the BARMM region. (ai/mtvn)