COMMUNITY pharmacists generally have a favorable view of  Covid-19 vaccines, according to a study of a group of pharmacy seniors from UST that won first prize in the 20th Asia-Pacific Pharmaceutical Symposium (APPS) Poster Competition held virtually on July 4.

The team of Rendzborg Bautista, Beatrice Ballon, Malorie Belmonte and Kathleen Calalang assessed vaccine behavior using five psychological antecedents of vaccination recommended by the World Health Organization: confidence, complacency, constraints, calculation and collective responsibility. 

Bautista said it was important to address vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers such as pharmacists to “harness social influence towards favorable uptake of Covid-19 vaccines.”

“Kapag nakikita ng public na favorable ‘yung naging vaccination sa healthcare workers and na-debunk yung mga conspiracies, magkakaroon ng vaccine intention sa general public,” Bautista told the Varsitarian.  

“At the same time, we also wanted to share how important it is to first understand the cause of vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers in order to provide solutions and interventions to be cascaded to the general public,” he added.

Without proper discussion of the social benefits of vaccination and dissemination of herd immunity’s significance, Bautista said the public might fall into a trap of “free riding” on collective responsibility or dependence on vaccinated individuals.  

Two other teams from the Faculty of Pharmacy clinched podium spots in the competition. 

Finishing at second place was the team of Meylyn Lanuzo, Gurleenjeet Kaur, Justine Maye Lope, John Derice  Mojares, Jovan Laygo, Brian Kyle Miñoza and Bianca Louise Pangilinan, with their poster ”Well-Being and Resilience of Undergraduate Pharmacy Students during the Covid-19 Pandemic.”

Another UST team, composed of Zena Fabriga, Rina Chloie German, Mary Ziane Tisha Ysabel Gimeno, April Mae Jumalon, Dominik Jose Flores, Mary Erden Igmen and Jelssey Clare Grande, placed third with their poster “Correlational Study on the Equity of Access to Institutional Learning Programs during Covid-19 Pandemic Among Pharmacy Students.”

The teams went through three rounds: screening, poster exhibition and the final round. 

The three UST teams won among a pool of 21 teams. They were guided by Asst. Prof. Carol Geraldine Pablo and Assoc. Prof. Ma. Cristina Doria. 

APPS is an annual symposium held by the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation Asia Pacific Regional Office, where pharmacy students from Asia-Pacific countries participate in various workshops. 

This year’s symposium was hosted by the University of the Philippines. Christine Joyce Paras 



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