/ 10 March 2021

IN A BID  to fight disinformation and misinformation on Covid19 vaccines, a group of medical practitioners from the University of the Philippines Visayas, concerned citizens and private individuals launched a campaign that aims to educate people on coronavirus inoculations.

Dubbed as “Bakuna Iloilo”,  the program aims to fill the gap on reliable information about the vaccines against Covid.

“Members believe that this initiative is instrumental in educating people and eliminating the fears and anxiety surrounding the community’s reluctance to be vaccinated,” UPV said.

“They also want to emphasize that the best vaccine is the one that is available. Doctor Eileen Aniceto of the Lung Center of the Philippines said that getting the vaccine protects not only an individual but also their immediate family members. This, in return, also contributes to getting everyone protected,” it added.

Dr. Clement Camposano, UPV chancellor, stressed that the university has always welcomed such initiatives.

“As the fight for misinformation and disinformation becomes even more challenging, this is the time to step forward. This is the time to be heard,” Camposano said.

Dr. Cynthia Cabangal Ng said that it is important to raise awareness and get the community’s commitment.

“While getting the vaccine is an ultimate act of self-preservation, it is also an act that would benefit the community and the nation. Spreading the correct information backed by evidence and science can help us make informed decisions,” Ng said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Louie Tirador explained that viral diseases in the past, such as smallpox, polio and measles, were prevented because of vaccines.

“With over two million Covid-related deaths worldwide, the vaccine is needed more than ever,” he said.

Dr. Ronnie Samoro pointed out that Filipinos need “proactive measures, rather than reactive” to address the community’s fears and reluctance.

“Bakuna Iloilo would like to focus on efforts that would eventually increase awareness and the level of acceptance of people. The community needs to understand is that all vaccines available right now are 100 percent effective in preventing severe symptoms. While mild symptoms can occur, severe cases are avoided,” Samoro said.

Dr. Rodney Dofitas, on the other hand, stressed that the number of people who are hesitant to get jabbed has decreased and Covid19 vaccines had received better acceptance.