The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed all Local Government Units (LGUs) to stop announcing the brand of vaccine which will be used in a particular vaccination center.
According to a press release by the department, the decision was made following the recommendation of the Department of Health in order to prevent a repeat of mass gatherings and long lines that occurred when brands are announced beforehand.
“The best vaccine is the one that is available; therefore in order to overcome brand preference, LGUs should not announce the brand of vaccine to be used in vaccination centers,” said DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año.
While LGUs will not be allowed to announce the vaccine brand, Año said vaccinees will still be informed of the vaccine brand on-site and give his/her consent in respect to the individual’s right to information. If the individual scheduled for vaccination refuses to take the particular vaccine, he will have to “go back in line.”
“We need to educate the people in order to overcome brand preference. All FDA-approved vaccines are just Emergency Use Authorization. They are all similarly situated. Our health experts have repeatedly said that there is none that is more effective than the other. All of them prevent hospitalization or critical illness from Covid. That is what is important,” he explained. He also stated that the country is racing against time to achieve herd immunity and people should therefore get vaccinated utilizing the vaccine that’s already available for their use.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that an advisory will be issued by the Department to all LGUs following the announcement of Secretary Año.