According to a Pulse Asia survey, the top three reasons for refusing vaccination were: uncertainty over its safety, unsureness of its effectiveness and not needing it against the virus. Another survey conducted by YouGov, an international research and analytics group, showed the Philippines ranked among the countries with lowest coronavirus vaccination interest out of 21 states included. Around 56 percent of Filipino respondents said they would get jabs while some have been inoculated. It is great that the private sector is trying to close this gap on vaccine hesitancy.
To summarize, top brands and media organizations roll out vaccination advocacy campaign to encourage more Filipinos to get vaccinated. Five healthcare providers commit 25 private hospitals to administer over 150,000 jabs to accelerate vaccine administration in NCR+, Batangas, Pampanga. Mall groups commit 48 mall locations nationwide as additional vaccination sites
The country’s top brands, largest healthcare providers, and biggest mall groups, announced the launch of Ingat Angat Bakuna Lahat, a landmark campaign to support the government’s national vaccination program against COVID-19 by encouraging the public to get vaccinated and to assist the government in fast-tracking vaccination rollout in the country.
“In October 2020, we gathered the country’s top brands for Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat, a campaign which empowered Filipinos to help jumpstart the economy by supporting their favorite businesses while practicing health and safety guidelines. With Ingat Angat Bakuna Lahat, we want to encourage vaccine willingness and support mass vaccinations, which are crucial for a safe economic recovery and return to normalcy,” shares Margot Torres, Managing Director for McDonald’s Philippines and Ingat Angat Bakuna Lahat communications advocacy co-lead.
“This Ingat Angat Bakuna Lahat campaign is the result of the collaboration of many private sector companies who generously contributed funds and their expertise, talent, and time to support our country’s national vaccination program.”
Companies who are lending their support to the campaign include BDO, Cebu Pacific, Food Panda, Globe Telecom, Goldilocks, ICTSI, Jollibee Foods Corporation, McDonald’s Philippines, Megaworld, Philippine Seven (7-11) Corporation, Smart Communications, SM Supermalls, Unilab, Zuellig Pharma, and Restaurant Owners of the Philippines (RestoPH).
The Ingat Angat Bakuna Lahat media partners include Facebook, GMA Network, Kapamilya Channel, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), Outdoor Advertising Association of the Philippines, ShareIt, T.A.P.E., TV5, and Viber.
Agency partners include Cobena, EON, HIT Productions, Mindshare, Omnicom Media Group, Pabrika, PSRC, Slingshot, and Wunderman Thompson.
Medical experts from the Philippine Medical Association and the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases have also endorsed the campaign and lent their expertise to ensure that the content is science-based.
Meanwhile, to help with vaccine administration, private healthcare providers Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (AC Health), Metro Pacific Hospitals Holdings, Inc (MPPHI), Mount Grace Hospitals Inc., St Luke’s Medical Center, and The Medical City, will share their expertise and available capacity to the national government and local government units in NCR Plus (Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal), Batangas, and Pampanga in an effort to accelerate the vaccination rollout and contain the rising number of COVID-19 cases in priority areas.
Dr. Manuel Dayrit, former secretary of the Department of Health explains, “Mass vaccination is expected to protect more Filipinos from severe and critical cases of COVID-19 and the goal of the government is to vaccinate 70 million Filipinos so the country can achieve herd immunity. The commitment of the private hospitals and malls will help augment the vaccination administration of the LGUs for their constituents.”
Participating hospitals will coordinate with the Department of Health and LGUs to administer doses to priority sector recipients. These include health workers, senior citizens, and persons with co-morbidities. A total of 150,000 doses are expected to be administered by 25 hospitals. Private healthcare providers will shoulder the cost of administration, venues, and manpower, while the government will provide vaccines, ancillary supplies, and personal protective equipment.
To support LGUs further, Megaworld has committed 11 of its malls while SM Supermalls has allotted 37 of its malls nationwide, providing a total of 48 additional vaccination venues for the administration of vaccines.
The role of vaccines in the COVID-19 pandemic
The World Health Organization (WHO) touts vaccines as a critical new tool in the battle against COVID-19. Vaccines prepare the immune system to fight the virus and bacteria they target. When vaccinated, the body destroys these viruses and bacteria, preventing illness.
To date, more than 300 million people all over the world have received a COVID-19 vaccine dose. Any serious side effect to a vaccine is rare and there has been no confirmed case of death caused by a jab. However, WHO notes that it typically takes two weeks after receiving both doses of the vaccine for the body to build protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
The Philippine national government is in talks with multiple manufacturers to ensure enough doses to vaccinate 70 million Filipinos before year-end, the number needed to achieve herd immunity, according to Chief Implementer for the National Task Force Against COVID-19 Secretary Carlito Galvez.
Only doses approved for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be made available. Vaccines approved by the FDA are safe and effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death. According to WHO, “the best COVID-19 vaccine is the first one that is available to you.”
The Vaccine Experts Panel (VEP) and the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) also conduct independent reviews to ensure that these are safe for use in the Philippines.
In tripartite agreements with the national government, private businesses have procured vaccines for their employees, including their frontline and essential workforce, to resume operations safely. This private sector procurement is intended to augment the supply purchased by the national government and the vaccines secured from the COVAX facility. The private sector also donated a significant portion of their procured vaccines to the government and has been fully supportive of the vaccination rollout for priority sectors led by medical frontliners, senior citizens, and persons with co-morbidities.
“The private sector coalition that launched Taskforce T3 (Test, Trace, Treat) vowed to strengthen its ongoing collaboration with the national government to accelerate the pace of the national vaccination program. We thank the various private companies for their all out support and we look forward to the participation of more companies in the coming days and months,” says Guillermo “Bill” Luz, Chief Resilience Officer of Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, a member of T3.
Companies who wish to participate may email Veron Gabaldon of the PDRF at email@example.com. To receive updates, please follow the Ingat Angat Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ingatangatph and join our Viber community.
ABOUT THE INGAT ANGAT BAKUNA LAHAT CAMPAIGN
Ingat Angat Bakuna Lahat is a private sector-led communication advocacy campaign to educate people about the COVID-19 vaccines and drive up vaccine confidence. Ingat Angat Bakuna Lahat brings together the country’s top companies, private healthcare providers, and mall groups to support the Philippine national vaccination program. With this landmark initiative, the private sector commits to be a strong partner of the Philippine government in rolling out the country’s vaccination program, recognizing that vaccination is a crucial step to reopening the economy.
Ingat Angat Bakuna Lahat is an offshoot of the private sector’s support for Taskforce T3 (Test, Trace, Treat), the multi-sector initiative put together in April 2020 to work closely with the Department of Health (DOH), the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19, and the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to manage the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.