Vaccine vs  Fake News: What we need to know?

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It is often a matter of contemplation why people are still hesitant about being vaccinated.

In a study by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), misinformation or fake news and speculations on the effects of vaccines and their side effects are major factors why some people remained unvaccinated.

Some believe that vaccines are the primary cause of illness rather than being given as a preventative measure and a barrier against the virus. Others believe that vaccines could cause fertility issues, and heart diseases, or worse, could implant microchips inside the body.

Hence, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) launched “OK Ka Sa Bakuna”, an informational campaign aimed at refuting misconceptions about vaccinations, given that many remain hesitant about it. 

This is in response to the growing need to educate people about the importance of vaccines against measles, rubella, influenza, polio, and other viruses that immunization initiatives could solve.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also ensured the effectiveness and safety of vaccines.

PRC Secretary-General Dr. Gwendolyn Pang stressed the importance of vaccines in strengthening a person’s immune system. “We encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity and protect themselves and their loved ones,” said Dr. Pang.

It is worth mentioning that experiencing reactions to the vaccine, like fever and body aches, after receiving a shot is an expected reaction from the body to something it has not yet adjusted to. The effects should dwindle or be gone after a few days.

WHO explained that the body reacting to the shot through minimal side effects proves its effectiveness. However, the organization reiterated that having no side effects did not mean the jab was ineffective. Simply said, bodies respond to immunizations differently.

For instance, the usual side effects of vaccines against Rabies are pain or soreness on the shoulder or at the injection site. Another normal side effect is nausea or headaches.

For some, redness around the injection site and fever are normal side effects after a booster shot.

Meanwhile, IFRC Head of Delegation to the Philippines Sanjeev Kafley said that it is important for communities to work together to combat the misinformation against immunization.

For this reason, the PRC, in collaboration with the local government,  has been doing house-to-house information drives to aid the needs and answer questions of people on immunization. PRC sees this as a positive avenue to educate people on the importance of vaccines.

The “OK Ka Sa Bakuna” campaign proves  to be a testament to  the PRC’s dedication to serving Filipinos, taking part in the advancement in  the health sector, and strengthening the immunity of communities through immunization.

For any information regarding vaccine scheduling and availability, visit the nearest PRC chapter or barangay health center. You may also contact the PRC hotline at 143 for further assistance.

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