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[B-SIDE Podcast] How to talk to anti-vaxxers and the ‘vaccine-hesitant’

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Vaccine hesitancy threatens the rollout of coronavirus vaccines in the Philippines. In a Pulse Asia survey released in January, 47% of the 2,400 Filipinos polled said they were not willing to be vaccinated while 21% were undecided. BusinessWorld reporter Vann Marlo M. Villegas spoke with Dr. Lulu C. Bravo, executive director of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination, about addressing vaccine hesitancy.


Vaccine hesitancy among the public can be addressed through education, conversation, and verified sources of information.

An “infodemic” of inaccurate information—including claims that the vaccines contain microchips or that they cause sterility—is spreading on social media and creating fear. “The truth is that vaccines are safe and effective,” said Dr. Bravo, who added that one is more likely to die from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) than from a vaccine. 

To allay vaccine-related concerns, she recommended steering vaccine-hesitant individuals to the websites of the World Health Organization, the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination, and the Department of Health.

Achieving herd immunity, or having at least 70% of the population vaccinated, will minimize the transmission of the disease.

In the vernacular, Dr. Bravo said that we all need to fight against COVID by having ourselves vaccinated. If we collectively fail to persuade each other to get vaccinated, achieving herd immunity will be difficult.

Vaccines have many benefits, among them allowing the economy to recover. 

“I can give you as many 10 in a matter of one minute,” said Dr. Bravo, of the myriad reasons vaccines are important. [To hear Dr. Bravo’s rundown, listen to the full episode.]

This B-Side episode was recorded remotely on February 24. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.

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