More Filipinos are now willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the survey results released by polling firm Pulse Asia on July 12.
The survey conducted from June 7 to 16 showed that 43% of Filipino respondents would get inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine. It also shows a significant increase from the previous survey recorded in February 2021, when only 16% said they were willing to get vaccinated if a COVID-19 shot was available. However, 36% of respondents said that they do not want to get COVID-19 vaccines. (Read: Archbishop Urges Tacloban Residents To Get COVID-19 Vaccine)
“The rest of Filipino adults are either not going to get a COVID-19 vaccine (36%), are unable to say whether or not they will get vaccinated (16%), or are already vaccinated (5%), either fully (2%) or partially (3%),” the Pulse Asia survey report stated.
Pulse Asia conducted face-to-face interviews with 2,400 Filipinos aged 18 years old and above. The survey has a 95% confidence level with a ±2% margin of error.
“Most Metro Manilans (55%) and sizable pluralities to near majorities in Mindanao (48%), Class ABC (50%), and Class D (42%) will get a vaccine against COVID-19 now that vaccines are available in the country. Almost half of Visayans (49%) say otherwise. Around the same percentages of those in the rest of Luzon and Class E will either get a vaccine against COVID-19 (both at 38%) or they will not (39% and 44%, respectively),” the survey concluded.
The recent survey is seen as a good improvement since many were hesitant, particularly senior citizens, to get vaccinated when the Philippines started its vaccination drive in March.
The first vaccine that arrived in the country was Sinovac, which was donated by China– a development met with various criticisms. However, healthcare workers and several government officials got their first shot as part of the A1 priority group to prove that there is nothing to be afraid of regardless of the vaccine brand.
The public used to worry and fear the side effects, efficiency rate, and effectiveness of the vaccine. The Pulse Asia survey was conducted right after the country started vaccinating the A4 priority group or economic workers. (Read: Common COVID-19 Vaccine Fake News And Myths–Debunked!)
Pulse Asia presented the primary concerns why 36% of the respondents are not inclined to get vaccinated; concern about its efficacy (12% and 10%, respectively); the belief that a vaccine is not needed to combat COVID-19 (11% and 4%, respectively); worry that the vaccine might not be given for free (2% and 3%, respectively); and concern that the vaccine might be expensive (0.4% and 2%, respectively).
Concern about the safety of a vaccine was higher in Metro Manila (70%) and the rest of Luzon (76%) compared to the Visayas (64%) and Mindanao (59%). COVID-19 vaccines are free and administered by the government.
Get vaccinated ASAP, if there is a chance
Aside from Sinovac, different brands of vaccines against COVID-19 are now available in the country. The availability of vaccines depends on the stock that the local government unit (LGU) has received. Several studies proved that all vaccines work and are effective regardless of the brand. (Read: ‘COVID-19 Vaccine Rights Should Be Exercised Fairly’ – Vatican Diplomat)
The survey also revealed that 35% of the respondents who refused to get vaccinated would change their decision if they see “their relatives, friends, and/or acquaintances who have gotten a vaccine are safe.” While 33% said they would be convinced to get vaccinated “when their doctor or healthcare provider assures them about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.”
Experts agree that the only way to beat the pandemic is to get vaccinated. Even Pope Francis has encouraged everyone to get inoculated once vaccines are available. (Read: Popes Francis, Benedict XVI Receive First Dose of COVID Vaccine)
Government officials and health workers have repeatedly reminded Filipinos that t the best vaccine is indeed the one that is available. And at this point, what matters is our safety. Who knows, you might become one of the reasons why your relatives, friends, and other people change their minds and decide to get vaccinated?