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CHR says Duterte's order to withhold vaccine brand info is a 'wrong solution'

By Ingrid Isabel Mendoza Published May 21, 2021 8:44 pm

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said the government's plan to withhold information regarding vaccine brands is a "wrong solution" and may violate human rights, as the better approach should instead be further public education.

“This is another case of applying the wrong solution to a problem,” CHR Commissioner Roberto Cadiz told PhilSTAR L!fe regarding the plan.

The policy was first announced by the Department of Health in a televised briefing but was later confirmed by palace spokesman Harry Roque as emanating from President Rodrigo Duterte. The plan came about after residents trooped to vaccination sites in Manila and Parañaque after hearing that the Pfizer brand will be administered, thus clogging the queue and causing concerns of a superspreader event.

But Cadiz said the plan goes against two basic human rights.

“There are two human rights involved here. Number one, the right to health and number two, the right to information,” Cadiz said.

Cadiz said that the solution should be “to educate” the people that whatever vaccine they take, they will not be harmed.

“I think the better approach here is to educate them on the need or on the basic equality of this, for them not to worry whether it is Pfizer or Sinovac,” Cadiz said.

No human rights violation
Roque, however, said today in a briefing that the new policy will not violate human rights as even though recipients will not know what vaccine brand they signed up for, they will be notified on site.

“Hindi ililihim sa mababakunahan ang bakunang ibibigay sa kanya. Karapatan niyo po itong malaman at tanggihan ito,” Roque said.