Vaccine and health promotion experts tackle COVID-19 updates

Key speakers, reactors, and organizers of the UPCPH - DOH Healthy Pilipinas. This was the Public Health Lay Forum held last 30 March 2022.


The University of the Philippines College of Public Health (UPCPH), in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) Healthy Pilipinas, held a forum on COVID-19 updates titled, “COVID-19: Ano ang latest at ano ang next?” on 30 March 2022 via Zoom and Facebook Live. TIPH is a worldwide brand started by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health that seeks to raise public health awareness globally. 

The lay forum gathered a maximum of 360 and an average of 200 live viewership. An educational animated video, launched in the event, discussed vaccine hesitancy issues among Filipinos; and as of this writing, has obtained nearly 6,000 views already in the official UPCPH Facebook Page. The webinar featured some of the leading experts in vaccinology and health promotion in the country. 

Dr. Nina G. Gloriani, Head of the Department of Science and Technology Vaccine Expert Panel and former UPCPH Dean, talked about the updates on COVID-19 epidemiology, especially the transition from a pandemic to an endemic state. She also showed data on the vaccination coverage in the Philippines as compared to other neighboring countries. 

Dr. Lulu Bravo, Executive Director of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination and Professor Emeritus of the UP College of Medicine, discussed the importance of discerning the accuracy of health information amid the infodemic. She emphasized the importance of being critical of disseminated information by examining their sources.  The audience was encouraged to listen instead to international and regional agencies, national agencies. professional, research and service organizations, former senior government officials, and retired academics.

“Maging aktibo sa pakikipag-laban sa peke na balita o fake news,” Dr. Bravo stressed.

Dr. Beverly Lorraine Ho, Director of the DOH Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, discussed the various efforts of DOH in health promotion and called for united participation in the vaccination campaigns. 

After the series of lectures, the forum was followed by reactions from different stakeholders. Prof. Buenalyn Teresita Ramos-Mortel, Chair of the UP CPH Department of Health Promotion and Education, shared strategies in communicating health information to the common Filipino. Dr. Maria Natasha Manching, one of the Doctors-to-the Barrios of DOH, shared the challenges and experiences of the vaccine roll out at the community level. Finally, Ms. Amor Maclang, Co-founder of GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications, Inc., gave perspectives from the private sector and presented prevalent vaccination hesitancy issues in the Philippines. 

The open forum tackled many questions from the audience, touching on topics such as the Dengvaxia scare, profit-building among vaccine companies, battling vaccine hesitancy among family members, etc. 

The entire event was made possible through the TIPH Global Grant Philippines, which was awarded to UPCPH last April 2021 through the leadership of Dr. Emer Faraon.

Dr. Sheriah Laine M. de Paz-Silava, Dr. Crystal Amiel Estrada, Dr. Emerito Jose Faraon
Published in UP Manila Healthscape No. 39 (May 2022)


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