UPV Chancellor urges Ilonggos to take advantage of vaccination program

Arnold Almacen Photo

University of the Philippines Visayas Chancellor Dr. Clement Camposano reiterates the call for Ilonggos to register for the vaccination program as the country faces an alarming spike of cases in the past few weeks.

Since the pandemic started, the Department of Health has recorded 812,760 cases (646,381 recoveries and 13,817 deaths).

As of April 6, 2021, active cases totaled to 152,562.

Western Visayas saw a total of 28,374 cases, with 2,131 active cases, 25,443 recoveries, and 794 deaths.

“The low level of acceptance is truly disturbing. Our country is being ravaged by this virus for over a year now and, now that vaccines are starting to become available, many people do not want to be vaccinated! They need to understand that getting themselves vaccinated is their civic duty. There are, of course, people who have been led to believe that these vaccines are harmful – and we appeal to them to open their minds to science,” Camposano said.

Camposano said the University should be an active partner of the city and provincial governments in the vaccination program.

This is made more urgent now, given the problem of misinformation and disinformation. Last month, Bakuna Iloilo, a group of concerned citizens composed of UPV alumni, medical practitioners, and private individuals, launched a campaign to raise awareness about COVID-19 vaccines. U.P. Visayas hosted the event.

“U.P. Visayas wants to be involved because, more than ever, we need information literacy, which is the ability to find – and use – good quality information. Imagine, we are facing a global pandemic, and you have people using the Internet and social media to either peddle unfounded fears about vaccines or, worse, promote the use of veterinary products as a cure for Covid-19! I respect their right to their opinions, but I cannot respect opinions built on ignorance, especially when such opinions are deleterious to public health.”

According to the data gathered by Rappler, 738,913 doses have been administered as of March 30, 2021.

In Western Visayas, 54,360 doses have been received so far. Seventy-four-point eight percent (74.8%) or 27,225 doses have been administered for the first dose. Local government units await the next tranche of vaccines to arrive.

In Iloilo City, Mayor Jerry Treñas has urged residents to go to their respective barangays, given the low turnout of the pre-registration for the COVID vaccination, which is expected to start in June or July.

So far, only 59,000 have registered out of the 320,000 target of the local government unit.