Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has welcomed the government’s move to accept help from medical experts from Israel’s Ministry of Health to assist with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
De Lima said she hopes that the expertise on vaccination that will be shared by a three-person team from Israel could indeed provide enough strategies to deploy highly sensitive vaccines and address the vaccine hesitancy in the Philippines.
“With Israel’s vaccination rate being among the highest in the world, the Philippines can learn and adopt best practices being applied in that country when it comes to vaccination, considering that our country is still lagging behind COVID-19 inoculation and that there is still unaddressed vaccine hesitancy among Filipinos,” she said.
“Dapat makasigurado na tama at efficient ang mga istratehiya at polisiya ng gobyerno sa pagtugon sa COVID-19, lalo na sa pagpapabakuna ng mga Pilipino dahil ito ang pinakamabisang paraan para matuldukan ang pandemya,” she added.
Based on media reports, Avraham Ben Zaken, Adam Nicholas Segal, and Dafna Segol arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last June 20. They will be in the country from June 20 to 25.
Among the topics that they will discuss with local experts include handling of highly sensitive vaccines such as the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots and lessons to increase public confidence in vaccines.
“As I have said before, the government needs to step up its vaccination campaign to protect the lives of as many people as possible, that is why the help from experts are most welcome,” she said.
De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, likewise said she hopes that the lessons that will be shared by Israeli experts can help government craft policies or strategies that would best help those who are still hesitant to get vaccinated decide to get the jab.
“Bukod sa pagpapabilis sa rollout ng bakuna, kailangan ng gobyernong paigtingin pa ang paghikayat sa mamamayan na magpabakuna, lalo na’t isa sa mga dahilan ng pag-aalinlangan ng marami ay dahil na rin sa propaganda at maling impormasyon noon ng ilan ukol sa bakuna para lang sa pansariling agenda,” she said.
“In addressing vaccine hesitancy, the government needs a solid strategy or campaign that would help build public trust on vaccines, and remind them that its benefits far outweigh the risks,” she added. Public surveys conducted months into the rollout have reportedly shown that only 3 out of 10 Filipino adults were willing to get vaccinated. The Social Weather Stations survey done late April to May found almost as many were unwilling to get vaccinated or were still uncertain. (30)