DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said some individuals are still having apprehensions of getting the Covid-19 vaccine, with some even believing that they might even turn into zombies months after getting vaccinated.
Duterte-Carpio said in a radio interview on Monday, July 5, that based on her talk with a doctor, some indigenous peoples (IPs) are having apprehensions in getting the second dose.
“I talked to one of our doctors nga dunay mga IP na vaccinees and yes, madungog na nila nga mahimo kang mga zombie kuno, mao na ang mga apprehension na mahimo kag zombie kung magpabakuna ka (that there are IP vaccinees that have apprehensions of getting the second dose. Some of these people have heard that they would turn into zombies if they get the vaccine),” the mayor said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.
Information that people will turn into zombies after getting the Covid-19 vaccine and other false information on the vaccine have been circulating on social media.
According to the July 4 data of the Davao City Vaccination Cluster, a total of 52,038 individuals have already been vaccinated with the second dose.
The mayor said they have not noticed anything strange from them after getting vaccinated.
“Wala man tay nakit-an na so far nadakpan na zombie sa pagkakaron (We have not received reports of people who turned into zombies as of now),” the mayor said in jest.
The mayor said she is also aware of some religious leaders who are discouraging their members to get the vaccine.
Duterte-Carpio said the government’s Covid-19 response is science based and that the whole pandemic is not a scam.
The mayor also called theories of the vaccine as a means to depopulate “absurd” as no leader would want to cause harm to its constituent.
“This is not pagpangilad (a scam) because it is impossible for all of governments to agree around the world nga ilaron nato ang atuang mga (to fraud their) citizens, and there is no reason pod nga mangilad ang gobyerno (for the government to do those) with regard to a virus because as you can see gobyerno pud ang (and the) WHO (World Health Organization) is very brunt of the burden karon sa pandemya (in the current pandemic),” she said.
The mayor also challenged those who still do not believe in the vaccine to have themselves vaccinated by September.
“If you say na September mahimong nana sila tanan nga zombies unya dili mi mahimong zombie, wala inyong kredibilidad. So dapat naa gyud na siya’y kalakip na challenge to yourself. ‘Kung dili ka mahimog zombie by September, magpabakuna ko’ (we would turn into zombie, and it won’t happen, you would lose credibility. You should challenge yourself. ‘If I won’t turn into a zombie by September, then I will have myself vaccinated’),” Duterte-Carpio said.
But the mayor believes that the majority of Dabawenyos will not fall from these hearsays.
“Dako akoang pagtuo sa kapasidad sa atoang mga kaigsuonang (I believe in the capacity of our fellow) Dabawenyo to research on their own, dig deeper, and check what is the science of what is happening,” she said.
More than a year since the pandemic hit the city, the mayor said disinformation remains a challenge in the local government’s Covid-19 response.
“Isa ni sa mga challenges nga nakita namo sa among (This is one of our challenge in the) Covid-19 response, ang pagpangita sa mga tao kung asa nila makuha ang tamang impormasyon (which is looking for credible source of information),” she said.
To further intensify its information campaign, the mayor said the city is planning to launch a separate website intended for Covid-19 information, policies and regulations, and other response measures of the city.
The mayor said the website is almost ready for launching, and the website is expected to be accessible within the week.
Meanwhile, the Davao City Government has already started with the vaccine rollout since March this year.
The mayor recently said that the city’s vaccination program is “doing very well.”
She also encouraged Dabawenyos to have themselves vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity in order to reopen the city and the economy.
The city is targeting to inoculate around 1.2 million Dabawenyos before the end of the year.