Bong Go urges gov’t to reinforce information campaign on country’s national vaccine roadmap

To boost public confidence on and allay fears over COVID-19 vaccines, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Tuesday, January 12, reiterated to the national government the need for a more massive information campaign to educate the public on the COVID-10 vaccine roadmap.

The roadmap—which details the process on how the country may acquire the vaccines, their delivery to the public, and the organizational chart of officials who will spearhead their acquisition and delivery, among others—seeks to ensure the cost-effective, safe and efficient delivery of the vaccines to all Filipinos.

Go said that the government may need to do more when it comes to its information dissemination campaign and educating the public on the vaccine roadmap.

He added that such awareness building initiatives are needed to build vaccine confidence among Filipinos and sustain cooperation.

“[S]a tingin ko po ay pwede pa natin palakasin ang information dissemination campaigns o awareness information plan, hindi lamang para masiguro ang tuluy-tuloy na kooperasyon ng mga Pilipino, kundi para na rin mapanatag sila na hindi natutulog ang kanilang gobyerno upang mabigyan sila ng ligtas at epektibong bakuna laban sa COVID-19,” said Go.

He also urged concerned government agencies to use the present time to explain the national vaccine roadmap to the public so they can understand the entire process, allaying fears and uncertainties.

“Gamitin po sana natin ang panahong ito para ipaliwanag sa publiko ang ating national vaccine roadmap. Importante po na maintindihan nila ito. Ilatag na natin sa kanila ang buong proseso para mas mabilis tayong makabangon muli,” Go urged.

“Itong vaccine naman ang inaabangan nating paraan upang matigil ang pagkalat ng COVID-19, kung kaya’t huwag nating sayangin ang oportunidad na pagplanuhan ang maayos na implementasyon nito at magabayan ang publiko gamit ang tamang impormasyon na kailangan nilang malaman para makabangon sa kahirapan,” he added.

Public apprehension about getting inoculated with the vaccine was reflected in a Pulse Asia survey released on January 7 which showed that only 32% of Filipinos are willing to be inoculated with the vaccine against COVID-19.

Aside from mitigating fears, Go said that explaining the vaccine roadmap thoroughly will address concerns on fake news and misinformation.

“Bukod sa COVID-19, nakakamatay din ang maling balita. Kung gusto talaga natin na magkaroon ng kumpiyansa ang tao sa bakuna, kailangan nilang maintindihan kung ano ito at ano ang plano ng gobyerno ukol dito,” Go noted.

He added that other processes related to the delivery of the vaccines must be explained to Filipinos.

“Hindi lang naman ito usapin ng pagkakaroon ng bakuna. Kailangang paghandaan din ang storage, logistics and transportation ng mga bakunang ito,” he added.

Meanwhile, Go assured the public that he will continue to work closely with the executive branch to ensure the systematic facilitation of the vaccine plan and the prioritization of key vulnerable sectors as expressed by the President.

“Mahalaga na makakaabot ang mga bakunang ito sa mga pinaka-nangangailangan na dapat makatanggap. May mga taong hindi alam saan pupunta at ni hindi alam kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng vaccine… Sila ang kailangan lumabas at magtrabaho upang buhayin ang pamilya nila – mga isang kahig, isang tuka,” he explained.

He, then, stressed the commitment of the government to prioritize the poor and vulnerable sectors, as well as frontliners, including medical workers, teachers and uniformed personnel once a safe and effective vaccine is determined.

“Kapag may safe at effective na vaccine na po, sang-ayon ako sa plano ng ating Pangulo na unahin ang mga mahihirap, mga parte ng vulnerable sectors, at ang ating mga frontliners, tulad ng mga guro, medical workers at uniformed personnel,” he said.

Go also reminded Filipinos that the bayanihan efforts must continue for the country to fully overcome the crisis.

He emphasized the need for everyone’s commitment to act responsibly by following the health and safety protocols issued by government.