Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

‘PinasLakas,’ AI chatbot boost vax efforts

PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSEL PALMA

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is not yet over. While cases are slowly trending downward, the highly transmissible Omicron subvariants are still around. Fortunately, total and ICU (intensive care unit) bed utilization rates for COVID-19 at both the national and regional levels remain at low risk, according to the Department of Health (DoH). 

“With a continuous rise in COVID-19 cases, the DoH reminds the general public to remain vigilant and adhere to our minimum public health standards such as wearing the best-fitting masks, social distancing, and immediate isolation at the onset of symptoms. We also encourage the eligible population to get vaccinated and boosted with our COVID-19 vaccines to continue building a strong wall of immunity against the virus,” said Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario S. Vergeire. 

As of this August, the DoH, working with local government units and private sector partners, has administered more than 160 million total doses through the Bayanihan Bakunahan (National Vaccination Days) and Resbakuna Kids campaigns. At least 71 million Filipinos have completed the primary vaccination series, with over 15 million Filipinos having at least one booster dose, which represents roughly 21% of the fully vaccinated population. 

To increase vaccination coverage, the National Government launched this July a campaign dubbed “Sa Boosters: PinasLakas.” The initiative aims to fully vaccinate 90% of A2 or senior citizen population (1,074,110 recipients), as well as increase booster dose coverage to 50% of the total target population (23,840,032 recipients) before Oct. 8, which marks the first 100 days of the Marcos administration. 

As of this August, more than 18,900 PinasLakas vaccination sites have been launched nationwide, in areas such as markets, schools, workplaces, health facilities, terminals/transport hubs, places of worship, and mobile vaccination sites. All vaccines being freely given in the country have been rigorously studied and deemed safe and effective by experts. Only a small percentage of doses administered had reactions, most of which were mild and resolved spontaneously. 

Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines including boosters will enable us to enjoy tremendous benefits. As more and more Filipinos complete their primary doses and their booster shots, the more the country can ease its health requirements, live and work free from worry of alert level restrictions, resume face-to-face learning in schools, and avoid the expenses associated with COVID-19 hospitalization and its complications. 

Key sectors of our society will be able to reap their own benefits as well. Keeping the number of COVID-19 cases low and manageable will unburden the country’s healthcare facilities and healthcare workers. Government spending can be redirected towards other social services and priorities. The national and local government will be able to fulfill their mandate and highlight their success in ensuring the protection of the people. 

With COVID-19 cases under control, the country will be able to keep the economy open and allow it to further generate income and drive progress and prosperity. Schools can remain open, and thus can maximize our children’s literacy and educational outcomes. Tourism will remain open and busy, generating jobs and supporting businesses. 

An SWS survey conducted in December 2021 indicated that 80% of fully vaccinated Filipinos are willing to get a booster dose. To further drive accurate information for the public for the “homeliners,” the DoH made available a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence (AI). Called KIRA or “Katuwang na Impormasyon para sa Responsableng Aksyon,” it can be found on the DoH Facebook page, Viber, and KontraCOVID PH web app. 

KIRA can be used to self-check if one is at risk of COVID-19; it can also answer commonly asked questions. The chatbot, a partnership between startup AI4GOV and the DoH Health Promotions Bureau under OIC-Undersecretary Dr. Beverly Lorraine C. Ho, was one of the winners at the inaugural World Health Organization Western Pacific Innovation Challenge. 

The KIRA chatbot initiative is gaining momentum with 33.5 million interactions, and 1.2 million users who have inquiries related to COVID-19. With this digital tool, people can get answers and combat fake information and misinformation. 

Eligible Filipinos are strongly urged to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines series and booster shots, so that together we can enjoy the benefits of continued recovery from the pandemic. 

  

Teodoro B. Padilla is the executive director of the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP), which represents the biopharmaceutical medicines and vaccines industry in the country. Its members are at the forefront of research and development efforts for COVID-19 and other diseases that affect Filipinos.

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

News

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS WASHINGTON D.C. — The United States is seeking to form a coalition of countries to drive negotiations on a global...

News

Buildings are seen along EDSA in Quezon City. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN By Diego Gabriel C. Robles  THE WORLD BANK (WB) upgraded...

News

Heavy traffic is seen on the southbound lane of EDSA in Cubao, Quezon City. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN THE PHILIPPINE auto industry’s...

News

REUTERS THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) may deliver a second off-cycle rate hike in early November when the US Federal Reserve is expected...

News

Vendors arrange their goods at a public market in Manila. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSEL A. PALMA THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) is planning to...

Editor’s Pick

With the reversal of the 1.25% rise in National Insurance Contributions happening on the 6th of November, employers across the nation have an opportunity...

You May Also Like

News

BW FILE PHOTO GROSS BORROWINGS by the National Government reached P2.6 trillion as of end-September as it continued to raise funds to respond to...

News

KARASOLAR.COM TENA, Ecuador — Ecuador’s rainforest Achuar people say their ancestors long dreamed of a “fire canoe” or “electric fish” that would let them...

News

REUTERS By Luz Wendy T. Noble, Reporter The country’s foreign exchange buffers slightly increased as of end-October as the value of the central bank’s...

News

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health of Filipinos across different groups all over the archipelago. From frontline workers, parents balancing...

Disclaimer: Respect Investment.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2022 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.