COVID-19 denialism: Circulating brochure in Filipino denies disease is real

October 3, 2021 - 10:30 AM
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Fake news about COVID-19
There is an infodemic in the middle of the pandemic. (Interaksyon artwork)

There are still some individuals who remain hesitant to take the COVID-19 jab. A circulating brochure on social media may not help, as it carries false information that the virus is a hoax and that vaccines are harmful to the public.

“Since nagka-pandemic… frontliner na ako until now pero never ko naisip magpabakuna. Mas safe ako na walang bakuna. Pray lang… take vit[amins] and eat healthy foods,” a Facebook user said.

“Hindi naman nakakatakot ang karayom eh, takot kami sa side effect. Kaya wait nalang muna ako after 1 to 2 years kung ano ang result ng clinical trials nila sa human body,” a Facebook user shared.

“As long as you know to boost your immune system in a natural way… [m]uch better than vaccine na ‘di sure na protektado ka.. hindi din ako papabukuna.. maybe after 2 years,” another Facebook user said. 

The Department of Health (DOH) immediately disproved the brochure as inaccurate about facts related to the life-threatening virus.

In a Facebook post, the DOH clarified that vaccines underwent a strict evaluation and selection process and have been granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration.

The health agency also stressed that COVID-19 is contagious and could lead to serious illness. It has been the cause of death of more than 4 million people around the world in just one and a half years.

“The Department reminds the public to always verify information found online only with legitimate sources,” its post said. 

RELATED: Reluctant to be vaccinated for COVID-19? Here are six myths you can put to rest

Trust ‘life-saving interventions’

The DOH last August 12 also denounced the views of Dr. Romeo Quijano, a retired professor from the University of the Philippines’ College of Medicine, for claiming that vaccines are “more dangerous” than the COVID-19 itself. 

“There is a growing number of real-world evidence globally which has consistently shown that COVID-19 vaccines have led to significant reductions in hospitalizations and deaths among vaccinated individuals,” DOH said in a statement.

“Moreover, despite increases in COVID-19 cases in these countries, the same rate of increase is NOT seen in hospitalizations and deaths,” it added.

READ: Mounting calls against airing of anti-vax doctor Quijano’s opinions

Data from the FDA reported that a greater majority of those who got breakthrough infections did not die and a lot more did not have to be hospitalized.

A breakthrough infection happens when a person who has been fully vaccinated becomes infected with COVID-19. Such incidents occur because there is no vaccine that is 100% effective.

As of posting time, there are now more than 16.5 million or around 15% of the country’s total population who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.