Press Release | 20 May 2021
The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday urged local government units (LGUs) not to use vaccine brands in promoting their respective vaccination activities, following reports of people flocking vaccination sites after finding out that a specific brand of vaccine will be given there.
Not announcing what brand will be available in inoculation sites will not take away the right of individuals to be informed of the vaccine they are taking, as the vaccination process entails on-site vaccine education, proper recording using vaccination cards, and monitoring for Adverse Events Following Immunization.
DOH reiterated that all COVID-19 vaccines issued with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are safe and effective. Before a vaccine can be issued with an EUA, it has to undergo rigorous evaluation processes involving the Department of Science and Technology, FDA, and various vaccine expert groups. Safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines are scrutinized based on latest available data and scientific evidence from global clinical trials. All vaccines available now in the country are safe, effective, and have been found to reduce risk of severe illness and prevent death after completing the required doses.
Demand generation and increasing vaccine confidence should be a joint effort of the national government, LGUs, private sector, civil society organizations, and partners from the media. “We have to be reminded that vaccine confidence should be built in the stringent processes that lead to the vaccine development, local authorization, and recommended use of these vaccines, and definitely not by the brand,” said Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III.
While vaccination is not mandatory, DOH encourages every Filipino to register with their LGU and get vaccinated when it’s their turn. Furthermore, the DOH maintains that the best vaccine is the one that is available now, regardless of the brand.
"As more vaccine supplies become readily available, I encourage everyone to take the earliest opportunity to get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines give additional protection against COVID-19 to prevent hospitalization and death. We, at DOH, call on the public to choose to be vaccinated to protect yourselves and your loved ones, the soonest possible time, " he added.
As of May 19, the government has inoculated more than 2 million Filipinos belonging to priority groups A1 to A3. The country is set to begin the vaccination of economic frontliners and indigent population in the NCR Plus 8 by June, given availability of supplies.