News: Group to boost public confidence on Covid-19 shots

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Group to boost public confidence on Covid-19 shots
By Perla Lena March 9, 2021, 3:12 pm
Philippine News Agency

ILOILO CITY – A group of civilians called "Bakuna Iloilo" will help educate the public about the need to get inoculated with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines.

The group, composed of the alumni of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas (UPV) joined by several doctors and advocates, was launched at the UPV on Monday.

“We are a citizen’s arm helping to augment the government’s plan on vaccination. We aim to give factual, realistic information campaign dissemination,” Dr. Marovi Celis, a dermatologist by profession and board member of the I am UP High association, said in an interview on Tuesday.

She said that they will continue to reach out to the public by being active on Facebook and other social media sites for the conduct of webinars and other strategies to raise public awareness on the necessity of getting inoculated.

“The more that you educate them, the more that they will understand. So, the bottom line is sharing correct information and assurance,” she added.

Meanwhile, UPV Chancellor Clement Camposano, in his welcome remarks during the launch, said looking at the number of people willing to get inoculated, “it is clear that there are not enough people who understand the way vaccines work”.

It was made more complicated by people with “very unscientific opinions” but with access to digital media and contributes to all kinds of disinformation, he added.

“I am a strong advocate of respecting people’s right to an opinion regarding vaccines. But it is important to draw the distinction between respecting the person’s right to an opinion and respecting an opinion. Some opinions do not deserve respect, they need to be opposed, they need to be rejected publicly, especially if these opinions are injurious to public health,” he said.

He added that the initiative of the Bakuna Iloilo is a manifestation of their concern.

The UPV, he said, will always be around to help as he also emphasized the willingness of the UPV community to do its share to defeat the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The group behind “Bakuna Iloilo” has been working since the pandemic started, especially in extending support to front-liners.

With the availability of the vaccines, the group and their doctor friends convened to be able to give a “wider prospect” and for the public to understand the need to be vaccinated, Celis said. (PNA)