BIOs key to increase acceptance rate of COVID-19 vaccines

TABINA, Zamboanga del Sur, 07 April – The local government here believed that the recently organized Barangay Information Officers' Network (BION) in town is key in increasing demand generation of the COVID-19 vaccines with the campaign roll-out now moving on to the next priority groups.

Dr. Jessa Mae Pangandian, municipal health officer of Tabina town said the barangay information officers will be tasked in disseminating accurate and truthful information focusing on COVID-19 vaccination program.

“I believe that full-pledged BIOs can help the government inform the people of the benefits and advantages of COVID-19 vaccines because they belong to the younger demographic who are very active in using social media particularly facebook,” she said.

Some fifteen Sangguniang Kabataan chairpersons from the different barangays were designated as BIOs to help the government inform the people of the benefits and advantages of COVID-19 vaccines.

Pangandian said there are some barangay health workers (BHWs) and senior citizens who refused to be vaccinated because they heard and read negative comments about the COVID-19 vaccines from people and posts on Facebook noting "the spread of fake news on social media has led to the low acceptability rate of the vaccines in the town".

She stressed the current public health crisis can be solved through the vaccines.

She further explained “vaccines have been used to address several human health problems for a very long time. In the past, children less than 5 years old died due to polio, but due to the vaccine, no one has died and we no longer see people in wheelchairs infected with polio."

According to Pangandian, it will be a great challenge for their health workers to fully vaccinate the residents especially that they have barangays in far-flung areas. 

"People from remote barangays will be brought to Poblacion and it will take up to an hour to vaccinate each person following strictly our vaccination procedure for the safety of our people," she said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Anthony Dayondon said the local government fully supports the creation of the BION that will serve as communication network for the national government to implement its advocacies especially the COVID-19 vaccination program, National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), and others.

“This is the first time that our town has created a communication network that is composed of SK chairpersons. They are now our force multipliers who will help our government deliver vital information to the most remote barangays in our town,” he said. (EDT/GCC/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)



Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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