Press Release
January 6, 2021

Drilon: PHL should build Covid-19 vaccine confidence

Senate Minority Franklin M. Drilon underscored the urgency to build Covid-19 vaccine confidence following the findings of OCTA Research that only 25% of respondents in Metro Manila are willing to be inoculated with an anti-coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available in the country.

"It shows the urgency to strengthen the people's confidence in vaccines and the need for the government to adhere to a science-based process in deciding which vaccines to bring in. Public confidence is critical to the successful inoculation of our people," Drilon said on Wednesday.

"The government must address this high vaccine hesitancy. The reluctance to participate in Covid-19 immunization program, if not immediately addressed, will spell trouble in the future and can jeopardize efforts to contain the pandemic," he stressed.

Based on the survey, 28% of the 600 respondents from Metro Manila aged 18 and up have said that they would not get the vaccine and 47% have answered they have not decided whether they want to get inoculated with an anti-Covid-19 vaccine.

For the immunization against Covid-19 virus to succeed, it is critical to maintain a high level of vaccination rate or at least 60 million Filipinos, Drilon said.

The government aims to vaccinate at least 60 million Filipinos in the next three to five years.

Out of the many stumbling blocks that the government has yet to hurdle when it comes to the worldwide Covid-19 immunization efforts, Drilon said addressing vaccine hesitancy can be the most challenging.

He added the controversy on the illegal entry and use of unauthorized vaccines in the country by some members of the Presidential Security Group and Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators employees only exacerbated confusion and distrust among Filipinos.

Drilon said the people are wary about the safety of the vaccines, especially that there are issues pertaining to the efficacy of some of the vaccines that the government is eyeing to bring in the country.

"We must overcome this growing distrust and hesitancy. We can achieve this by being transparent and by providing Filipinos proper information on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines that we will use in the country," Drilon said.

"We must get the best vaccines. Buy substandard vaccines, people will refuse vaccination and we will never be able to get out of this pandemic," he said.

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