BAKUNATION, a vaccine information campaign, aims to gather 750,000 pledges from Filipinos to vaccinate their families against vaccine-preventable diseases by the end of 2022. Launched May 13 by theAsianparent Philippines, a community platform for parents, BakuNation is a scaled-up version of a similar effort called Team BakuNanay, which was launched December 2020 after a community poll found that 45% of Filipinos refuse to vaccinate their children, for fear of side effects.

From a core group of 85, Team BakuNanay grew to 10,000 members within a year. Positive sentiment toward vaccines also increased during that period by 15%, with 70% of Filipinos agreeing to vaccinate their children.

The online campaign has thus far reached more than 1.1 million individuals, with an average engagement rate of 7.34% on social media.

BakuNation builds on these results as everyone — not just mothers — can learn more about diseases and their impact, share their experiences on vaccine use for their kids, ask questions, and give and re-ceive advice from others.

“Today is day one of inviting each and every Filipino to help improve vaccine confidence and build one entire BakuNation,” said Candice L. Venturanza, theAsianparent Philippines head of content.

The World Health Organization (WHO) pointed in 2021 that pre-pandemic global childhood vaccination rates against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, and polio had stalled for several years at around 86%.

It also noted that the Philippines was top four in the list of countries with the greatest increase in children not receiving a first dose of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis combined vaccine (DTP-1). “We cannot allow a legacy of COVID-19 to be the resurgence of measles, polio and other killers,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, in a July 2021 post by WHO. “We all need to work together to help countries both defeat COVID-19, by ensuring global, equitable access to vaccines, and get routine immunization programs back on track. The future health and wellbeing of millions of children and their communities across the globe depends on it.” — Patricia B. Mirasol