By Rey E. Requejo | Manila Standard
Presidential candidate and former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. on Sunday urged the government to undertake more information campaigns on their vaccination program to assure parents that the vaccines are safe.
Marcos made the call as the Department of Health is set to vaccinate teenagers aged 12 to 17 against COVID-19.
“The information drive that our government needs to do must be to explain again that the vaccine is what we need and the vaccines that are given are all safe,” Marcos stressed.
Citing the Dengvaxia incident, Marcos said this became one of the reasons for vaccine hesitancy among parents as many children suffered because of the said dengue vaccine.
Because of this, the presidential aspirant believed that an effective information campaign must be done not only to convince the parents but also those who are still adamant about receiving the vaccine.
“The vaccination was affected because of Dengvaxia because many children were injured so the parents were hesitant. That’s what we need to explain, that (COVID-19) vaccines are good and safe,” he said, adding that “all the vaccines have been tested and millions have already received that. Only a very small number have had side effects so getting vaccinated is a big advantage.”
Last September, the DOH confirmed that pediatric vaccination will start among 12 to 17-year-olds with comorbidities as part of Priority Group A3.
Expansion beyond this group will follow once adequate coverage of the A2 priority group or senior citizens has been achieved nationwide and vaccine supply becomes sufficient to include children.
Marcos earlier urged the local government units to bring the vaccines to far-flung areas and to those who are having a hard time accessing the vaccination centers.
For the country to reach the expected herd immunity, he also encouraged the business sector to provide incentives to employers and consumers who are already vaccinated against the COVID-19.
“The vaccination of our people is needed. All the ways to increase vaccination should be done because it is really important to vaccinate our countrymen,” Marcos said.