“It is important to restore vaccine confidence to minimize our ballooning healthcare costs. We must keep our communities safe from vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, measles, and pneumonia.”
Thus said Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia in his opening remarks as national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) at the online session called “Bakunado, Protektado: Restoring Vaccination Confidence in Cities” last Friday.
The virtual session, co-organized by the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) and MSD in the Philippines (Call The Shots PH), was joined by 170 other league and health officials.
The session aims to improve the delivery of immunization programs by highlighting the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration in popularizing public health initiatives such as the national immunization program spearheaded by the Department of Health.
This year, Bacolod City, in partnership with MSD, immunized hundreds of senior citizens against pneumonia for free, the mayor said.
But Leonardia said he was worried when he found out that vaccine confidence in the country dropped from 93% to only 32%.
“Vaccine confidence is low. I hope this program of restoring vaccination confidence in our cities will go beyond what we called vaccine-preventable diseases,” he added.
“I hope that this becomes a stepping stone likewise for eventually solving the Covid-19 pandemic. I hope we succeed here in the information education campaign so that we can have a high level of confidence in vaccines when the one for Covid-19 comes later,” Leonardia said.
“Hopefully, sooner than later, we will get that vaccine against Covid-19,” he added.
The webinar also aims to provide cities with strategies to implement the existing immunization programs of the national government successfully and to avoid another disease outbreak during this Covid-19 global pandemic.
It focuses on solutions for improving government systems, purchasing and payment arrangements, sharing of information, and doing business in cities./WDJ