Press Release
January 19, 2021

Emergency response system for possible vaccine side effects more vital than proposed indemnification fund--Recto

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto today welcomed the proposal to set up an indemnification fund for Filipinos who may be harmed by COVID-19 vaccines, but stressed that "the focus should be on strengthening emergency response to the very, very few who may suffer side effects."

"Insurance is good. But immediate medical intervention is better," Recto said in urging the government to ensure that vaccination sites should be near facilities that can handle "adverse post-vaccination issues."

"If you develop an allergy, access to care is what you need more than future compensation," Recto said.

Government assurance that it is ready to handle such cases is a far better way of boosting vaccine acceptance among our people than announcing an insurance fund for unpleasant events, Recto said.

A good monitoring and response system that is seen by the people will inspire more confidence in the program than talks about indemnity, he said.

"Parang kotse 'yan. The selling point is the safety features of the car and not the accident insurance policy in the glove compartment," he said.

Recto urged officials to stick to the narrative that vaccines are safe, "and not be drawn to topics that may fan falsehoods about the safety of vaccines in general."

"Communications play a vital role in the run up to the mobilization of the 110 million Filipinos to roll up their sleeves and get shots," he said.

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