Bong Go

Bong Go urges health execs to address vaccine hesitancy vs common diseases

May 2, 2023 People's Journal 145 views

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go expressed his concern over reports that almost half of Filipino children are not being fully immunized against common diseases, such as measles and polio. For this reason, Go has taken a proactive stance in once again urging health authorities to address vaccine hesitancy and promote awareness on the importance of immunization especially in the grassroots.

“As per report po, 57% lang ng target na mga kabataan sa buong bansa ang fully immunized po mula 2012 to 2021. Masyadong malayo po ito sa target ng DOH. Alam n’yo, this is a disaster waiting to happen,” Go expressed in an ambush interview after he personally witnessed the groundbreaking of Bago City Super Health Center in Negros Occidental on Sunday, April 30.

In recent reports, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) cited that trust in giving vaccines to Filipino children dropped by nearly 25% or equivalent to at least 67 million children.

Citing the potential consequences of hesitancy on the country’s vaccination efforts, Go, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, emphasized the need for a more comprehensive approach to combat misinformation and build public trust in vaccines.

The senator likewise added that vaccine hesitancy poses a significant obstacle in effectively controlling the spread of diseases. He then called on concerned health agencies and authorities anew to ensure the efficient distribution and accessibility of vaccines to reach as many Filipinos as possible.

“Halimbawang mag-outbreak po ng measles at polio sa bansa, kung kakailanganin pong ipatawag sila sa Senado, ang ating mga health officials, ay willing po akong ipatawag sila. Alam n’yo, mayroon ngang vaccine hesitancy ang iilan pagdating sa COVID-19 (kaya siguro) mayroon tayong 26 na probinsya na nasa Alert Level 2 (ay) dahil po ‘yon sa mababang vaccination rate,” Go said.

“Dapat pong magkaroon tayo ng whole-of-government approach upang masolusyonan ang isyung ito. Hinihikayat ko ang gobyerno na solusyonan ang mga sanhi ng mababang vaccination rate na ito,” he urged.

Recognizing the need for a more robust response to public health crises, Go earlier refiled his twin bills that seek to establish the Philippine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines.

If passed into law, Senate Bill No. 195 shall mandate the creation of the CDC to serve as the lead agency for developing communicable disease control and prevention initiatives. It will be primarily responsible for controlling the introduction and spread of infectious diseases in the Philippines.

The lawmaker also filed SBN 196 which seeks to establish the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines. The institute shall serve as the country’s principal laboratory for virology research, laboratory investigations, and technical coordination of the nationwide network of virology laboratories.

“Dapat handa tayo para hindi tayo mabigla dahil hindi naman natin masabi kung ito na ba ang huling pandemya na darating sa buhay natin.

Mas mabuti na handa tayo… mas mabuti nga magkaroon tayo ng sarili nating bakuna para hindi tayo umaasa sa ibang bansa. Mas mabuti na yung lagi tayong handa,” Go maintained.