The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) has been using Viber for its RESBAKUNA: Kasangga ng BIDA! Campaign to provide more Filipinos life-saving info regarding the vaccine by updating its KIRA (Katuwang na Impormasyon para sa Responsableng Aksyon) Viber Bot.
You can simply click on KIRA’s Alamin tab and the bot will then send a link to an educational video by Dr. Beverly Ho, the Director of the DOH Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and Control bureaus, who will provide answers to the top frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the vaccine. Some of these FAQs include: Why is it important to get vaccinated against COVID-19? What are the vaccines available in the Philippines? How much should we pay to get the vaccines?
As the Philippines started rolling out its vaccination program against COVID-19, we’ve also started seeing an overwhelming amount of misinformation on our feed shared by friends, families, and colleagues. We’ve seen posts of how vaccines can turn us into zombies or alter our DNA—all of which have been debunked by the experts. With creators of fake information getting savvier and more creative copying identities of credible sources of information, things can be overwhelming and confusing for many of us. Even to the best of our abilities, fake news may still fool us.
But fake news isn’t just turning us into fools. Getting tricked by them would also endanger our lives, putting us at more risk in catching COVID-19 and preventing us from making a fully informed decision on whether we should or should not get vaccinated.
It is crucial to get relevant, timely, and accurate information on the COVID-19 vaccine from reliable sources no less. The best thing to do is to stay out of the platforms where fake news is rampant. Instead of sifting through social media channels that may be littered with baseless rumors on the pandemic, we can get updates from official and credible sources like the RESBAKUNA: Kasangga and BIDA! campaign of the Department of Health (DOH) straight to our Viber chats.
When the pandemic hit, Viber had become a go-to platform for credible organizations to spread vetted information and debunk myths and misinformation on the new disease. For starters, DOH launched its own Viber Community at the start of the quarantine to post timely updates on the country’s COVID-19 situation. It has become one of the most popular Viber Communities in the Philippines with over 2.4 million subscribers, and an ideal platform for the RESBAKUNA: Kasangga and BIDA! information campaign.
Apart from DOH, you can also find the World Health Organization (WHO) and some of the top local news organizations on Viber. Whether they have a Chatbot or a Community, you can easily verify it’s them if they have a blue check beside their name. As organizations have the option to limit posting on these spaces, you won’t have to worry about getting tricked by fake news when keeping yourself updated about the pandemic.