The Department of Health on Thursday warned against a viral video wherein a doctor told a radio program that COVID-19 vaccines could be more dangerous than the virus that causes the disease.
In a rare rebuke on Facebook, the DOH identified Dr. Romeo Quijano, who was identified in the radio DZRH program as from UP Manila.
"The DOH condemns health professionals who have been spreading false information regarding life-saving interventions such as COVID-19 vaccine," the department said.
In the DZRH interview on Aug. 10, Quijano said the COVID-19 vaccines were more unsafe than the coronavirus. The report released on Facebook has been shared more than 71,000 times in less than 24 hours.
"Sa aking pagsusuri, sa aking pag-aaral, matagal ko na pong pinag-aaralan itong mga bakunang ito, mas delikado 'yang mga bakuna na pinapalaganap ngayon kaysa sa virus mismo," he said during the interview.
"Di bale kaming matatanda [mabakunahan] dahil malapit na kami sa finishing line, maski madisgrasya kami, hindi na masyado nakakalungkot. Pero 'yung mga kabataan 'pag sila ang nadisgrasya dahil sa walang pakundangang pagbabakuna... talagang 'di tayo mapapatawad ng susunod na henerasyon," he said.
Infectious diseases expert and IATF member Dr. Edsel Salvana also shared on Facebook a copy of UP Manila's College of Medicine-Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology's statement dated Aug. 12 which says that the department supports evidence-based approaches in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DOH called out "irresponsible" media outlets that allowed the airing of baseless information which could harm Filipinos who have yet to decide to get vaccinated.
"Maging maingat at responsable po tayo sa pagpapalaganap ng impormasyon sa ating mga kababayan," it said.
The Philippines aims to inoculate at least 50% of the country to achieve population protection. As of Aug. 8, it has administered more than 24 million doses with more than 11.3 million people fully vaccinated.