Brand preference is a factor that fuels vaccine hesitancy among the public, the Department of Health (DOH) admitted Saturday.
In a Laging Handa briefing, Dr. Anna Lisa Ong-Lim of the DOH Technical Advisory Group, said they recognize that some people may have more confidence in a particular coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine compared to other brands but if the basis of hesitancy is efficacy, she said figures on this are “very fluid”.
“ There are different circumstance over which the trials were done. The data is influenced by the location, date, and who received the jab so it’s difficult to compare, therefore, if that is the basis then it’s not a good basis for brand preference because it’s not stable, the numbers are fluid,” she said in Filipino.
As the number of people getting vaccinated increases across the world, Ong-Lim said the database also adjusts.
Meanwhile, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire assured the public that all the available vaccines in the Philippines underwent stringent regulatory processes to make sure each is safe and effective.
She added that real-world data also showed that the current vaccines in the country have “good performance” against severe infection and preventing hospitalization and coronavirus-related deaths.
“ The public should also understand that we race against time here. The number of vaccines administered must increase so that we will be able to reach the end and lower the number of cases who are being hospitalized or dying,” she said in Filipino.
Earlier, local government units were advised to refrain from announcing the brand of vaccines to be used to overcome “brand preference”.
To address vaccine hesitancy, Vergeire said the DOH will continue to intensify its information drive and town hall meetings to raise awareness on the benefits of getting the jab. SOVEREIGNPH