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Health experts convene to address vaccine hesitancy

CALOOCAN, (PIA) – Health experts and medical groups collectively addressed issues on vaccine hesitancy and misinformation in the virtual Vaccine Solidarity Movement Kontra COVID-19 on Monday, August 23.

The event was attended by representatives from various medical institutions and groups, including the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV), Philippine Medical Association (PMA), University of the Philippines College of Public Health, and associations for Philippine pharmacists, nurses, midwives, and dentists.

“Kung mayroon misinformation o disinformation, ‘yan ang pumapatay sa kompyansa ng mga mamamayan laban sa bakuna,” PFV Dr. Lulu Bravo said in her remarks.

Dr. Bravo added that experts are coming together to help give recommendations for the public's best interest. 

In showing its support to this movement, the country’s medical association commits to increase the trust in vaccination, educate communities about the value of vaccination, and participate in any undertaking towards improving vaccine trust, confidence, and coverage.

“We encourage the public, communities, and media partners to listen only to vaccine experts composed of infectious disease consultants and public health experts,” PMA President Dr. Benito Atienza said.

Meanwhile, the issue of politicizing vaccines that influenced hesitancy and the spread of false information to communities was also raised in the forum.

“We appeal to the public to stop using vaccines as a politicized weapon to serve individual agenda,” Co-convenor Amor Maclang said.

Maclang added that individual freedom of speech should be tempered with accountability when public safety is threatened.

The Vaccine Solidarity Movement, which was convened by marketing consultancy agency GeiserMaclang, upholds its mission to remove all barriers to vaccine uptake, restore vaccine confidence through the right information, and create greater vaccine access for all. (JMB/PIA-IDPD)

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