As the coronavirus pandemic keeps its stranglehold over most parts of the world, the Philippines faces its most daunting challenge yet: embarking on a mass COVID-19 vaccination drive that once again tests its already-strained health system.
The Duterte government has set an ambitious target for the effort, aiming to vaccinate up to 70 million Filipino adults by the end of 2021.
So far, logistical hurdles and supply constraints have made vaccination in local governments difficult, while erratic delivery timelines has left the public uncertain. In the face of these obstacles, increasing vaccine hesitancy among Filipinos threatens to derail the government from its target.
Public surveys from late 2020 to early 2021 have shown that the number of Filipinos willing to get vaccinated has decreased, while the number of people unwilling to get vaccinated or uncertain about it has increased.
According to the Social Weather Stations’ latest survey done from late April to May 2021, fear of side effects, as well as questions on the safety and efficacy of vaccines top reasons for refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
What should Filipinos know about COVID-19 vaccines available in the country?
Watch this Rappler explainer that dives into what vaccine numbers mean, why side effects occur, and why public health experts want you to get vaccinated once it’s your turn. – Rappler.com