While the Philippine government faces the challenge of securing doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, 47% of Metro Manila respondents polled in a recent survey said they were still undecided over whether to receive a shot that would protect them against the virus.
The survey conducted by the Octa Research Group from December 9 to 13, 2020, showed that if a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine was available during the polling period, the greatest number of respondents at 47% “can’t say” if they will have themselves vaccinated or not.
Only about a quarter (25%) or 1 out of 4 respondents said they would be willing to get the vaccine if it was available.
In contrast, another 28% said they would not have themselves vaccinated.
The survey is based on face-to-face interviews with 600 adult respondents. It has a sampling error of ±4%.
Where to look
Vaccine acceptance was highest among class ABC. Of the 25% that said they would get vaccinated, 29% were from this group, followed by 27% from class E, and 24% from class D.
Of the 47% who were undecided about the vaccine, 52% were from class ABC, followed by 48% from class D, and 42% from class E.
As for those who would reject a vaccine, disapproval was highest among class E, with 31% of the respondents saying they would not have themselves vaccinated. This was followed by 28% from class D, and 19% from class A.
Why it matters
Metro Manila has been the epicenter of the pandemic in the Philippines since the coronavirus crisis started, making immunization efforts especially crucial here if the country were to tame the health crisis.
The number of respondents reluctant to receive a vaccine likewise underscored the challenges health officials confront in boosting demand for the highly scarce and coveted product.
This comes on top of issues in vaccine acceptance in the Philippines, which took a hit after the Dengvaxia scandal in 2017 tanked immunization rates of public vaccination programs largely done among the indigent sector.
The Department of Health (DOH) acknowledged the challenge on Wednesday, January 6, and said it would ramp up communication of “critical information” on vaccines to the public. In late December, health officials launched a survey among priority groups that aimed to boost confidence in a COVID-19 vaccine.
“The DOH knows that there are people who are still against vaccination and those who still need convincing,” it said.
A task force had also been formed to address vaccine confidence. – Rappler.com
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