FDA wants focus on COVID-19 vaccine info drive

Information should be given to those who doubt side effects, the head of the Food and Drug Administration () said now that the vaccine against the virus is being processed.

“Tinanong nila (SWS) ang mga kababayan. ‘Yung [around] 70 percent are already leaning towards ‘yes.’ Pero ang 30 percent, may agam-agam, so sila po ang ating dapat bigyan ng impormasyon para makapagdesisyon po sila nang tama pagdating sa bakuna,” said FDA Directo General Eric Domingo in an interview with TeleRadyo on Wednesday.

Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey found that 32 percent of Filipinos say they will definitely get the vaccine, and 34 percent are more likely to get the vaccine. In sum, it is at 66 percent.

As many as 31 percent said they had doubts about the vaccine. These include 14 percent who said they were unlikely to get the vaccine and 17 percent said they would not actually get the vaccine.

According to Domingo, the doubts came from the spread of false news, particularly on social media.

“Kasi kung titingin tayo sa social media, napakarami po talagang anti-vaxxers na tinatawag. Naglipana ‘yung mga news, kahit po sa mga text lamang ninyo, makikita niyo sa cellphone niyo kung ano-ano tungkol sa bakuna,” Domingo said.

“Kesyo papasok sa DNA, kesyo mayroong microchip na made-detect tayo. Siyempre, ‘pag may ganitong nababasa sila, nagkakaroon po silang konting duda, kahit po alam naman natin na walang scientific basis ang mga sinasabing ito,” he added.

FDA wants focus on COVID-19 vaccine info drive

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 vaccine process will take three to four weeks before being approved due to emergency use authorization.

According to FDA, the vaccine is expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2021.

The government had earlier mentioned that they were targeting to vaccinate about 60 million Filipinos who were said to be important in achieving “herd immunity.”

According to WHO, “‘Herd immunity,’ also known as ‘population immunity,’ is a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached. Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it.”

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 442,785 on Tuesday, December 8, of which 25,325 or 5.7 percent remained fighting the disease, while 8,670 died.