DOH: Public wants to see government officials vaccinated

The Department of Health () said Thursday that the public wants to see government officials vaccinated against COVID-19, citing a report of a focus group discussion (FGD).

According to Dr. Beverly Ho, DOH Director for Promotion and Communication Service, a third-party firm that hosted the FGD showed public officials are among the “main influencers” for the .

“The FGD just showed na ito ‘yung gusto nilang makita na, ‘Ah, actually even leaders pala gagawin. Mauna kayo bago kami.’ That’s actually the narrative we see in social media so that’s also what we’ve gotten from the FGDs,” she said in a virtual briefing.

Ho added a similar study on childhood vaccination conducted two years ago also showed that health workers influence public confidence in vaccination.

“Do’n sa third party na nag-study for us, actually ‘yung top 3 main influencers for people to get vaccinated are one, DOH; two, their healthcare providers; and three is their family or relatives. That’s two years ago,” the DOH official said.

“Now, recently… in those FGDs, klaro na pa rin ta’s na-mention din do’n na more than influencers, gusto nilang makita na nagpabakuna ‘yung certain officials,” she added.

DOH: Public wants to see government officials vaccinated

However, Ho said that there is no urgent need for public officials to be inoculated since health workers are at the top of the priority list.

“It might be needed, but considering the first group of people that we’re vaccinating sa hierarchy natin ng priority, mas kailangan natin ng other healthcare worker influencers,” Ho explained.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization () representative said on Thursday said ’s vaccine supply from the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access () Facility could be compromised if the Philippines would not follow the priority list it has set.

Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe noted that the vaccines from COVAX are allocated to protect the most vulnerable groups which include health workers, senior citizens, and people with comorbidities.

“If we want to ensure that we continue to access the vaccines from the COVAX Facility, we need to demonstrate that we can follow this prioritization,” he said in a virtual briefing.