A non-profit organization that advocates immunization, the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV), has urged Philippine authorities to help restore vaccine confidence in the country as the rollout for the Covid-19 inoculation in the country nears.
PFV executive director, Dr. Lulu Bravo, said it is vital and important that “we have trust or vaccine confidence because, in this part of the world, the Philippines is among the countries with high distrust on vaccine.”
She said manufacturers will not bring their vaccine to the country if there are many Filipino “anti-vaxxers” particularly in social media.
Bravo said vaccines had been saving millions of lives for the past centuries but clarified that no existing vaccine is 100% free from side-effects. “You cannot guarantee that everyone will be side-effect-free when they take the vaccine because the reaction varies from person to person; some may develop mild while some may have it severe, but the most severe is anaphylactic shock or severe allergy),” she explained.
Despite these risks, getting vaccinated is better than contracting deadly diseases. Vaccines have been there for 230 years, and are the most effective way to combat diseases. That’s the reason we live longer now, it’s even older than antibiotics,” she added.
The “loss of public confidence” in vaccines emerged visibly in 2019 largely due to the Dengvaxia controversy, among others.