Quezon City, Philippines – The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has instructed local government units in the country not to announce the brand of vaccine to be used in their inoculation activities prior to the scheduled date.
This directive was issued after the Department of Health (DOH) recommended it to prevent people from flocking to get inoculated when their preferred vaccine is available. Reports of such have transpired in some areas in the country.
Non-essential mass gathering is seen as the top most reason on the continuous surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Just recently in Paranaque City, a crowd was observed in a mall that served as a vaccination site, after the public were informed that the vaccine to be rolled out is the Pfizer COVID vaccine.
Recipients, the directive states, shall only be informed regarding the brand of the vaccine on-site and it is then that they will be asked for their consent if they will receive the vaccine or not.
“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,” DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said.
Año said that FDA-approved vaccines have undergone strict approval process which means that the vaccine is safe and effective.
“The best vaccine is the one that is available; therefore in order to overcome brand preference, LGUs should not announce the brand of vaccine to be used in vaccination centers,” he said.
He added that people should get the vaccine that is already available for them, as Philippines is now rushing against time in order to obtain herd immunity.
The DILG, in addition, underscored the need of educating the public to overcome brand preference as FDA-approved vaccines are just Emergency Use Authorization and are all similarly situated.
“Our health experts have repeatedly said that there is none that is more effective than the other. All of them prevent hospitalization or critical illness from Covid. That is what is important,” he said.
The public are then encouraged to back the government’s vaccination program by getting the vaccine as this is their duty as citizens, to protect themselves, their family, and their country.
Follow Guru Press Cordillera on Facebook for more News and Information