The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, urged the health department and the City Health Services Office (CHSO) to conduct Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine education campaign to significantly increase the awareness and acceptance level among the residents of the city on the upcoming vaccination to contain the spread of the virus in the city.
In a resolution, local legislators stated there is an urgent need for health authorities to conduct COVID vaccine education campaign through strategic information and education advocacies to significantly increase the awareness, appreciation and acceptance level among the residents of the city on the implementation of vaccination that will start with the frontliners and indigent senior citizens with co-morbidities.
The council pointed out that uniformity and clear understanding on the COVID vaccine is essential for its successful roll out all over the country, thus, the proposed aggressive information and education campaign can also cover the prioritization system by the government, how to attain the city’s herd immunity, no privilege access principle and other pertinent date and information.
The body raised concern over the recent Pulse Asia survey showed that only 32 precent of Filipinos are willing to be vaccinated, 21 percent are still undecided, while 47 percent of Filipinos do not want to be vaccinated with COVID vaccines being made available in different parts of the world.
According to the council, the COVID pandemic over the past 9 months that paved the way for the implementation of various levels of community quarantine has heavily impacted the city and the whole country and its massive destructive effect on economic growth has been very evident as Filipinos are now experiencing economic contraction, so with the sectors of health as the most hit, education, agriculture, trade and commerce, tourism, labor and employment among others.
For the past several months, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been closely working with scientists, global health organizations and also with the business sector to accelerate and speed up the response efforts to the pandemic where the most potent response is through the availability of vaccines with high efficacy that shall be made available to all countries, developed or developing.
Earlier, the national government, through the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, recently approved Resolution No. 68 for the creation of a separate sub-technical working group on vaccine procurement that will be headed by the budget department procurement service.
DOH, as a member of the sub-technical working group, was tasked to determine the appropriate vaccine deployment program including the vaccine to be procured and the required number of doses that will be purchased to help in achieving the herd immunity of the country’s population.
Under the set-up, local governments are allowed to procure vaccines to combat the spread of the deadly virus in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
By Dexter A. See