46pct of adult Filipinos still unwilling to get vaccinated vs COVID-19

26-Feb-2021 Intellasia | Rappler | 7:31 AM Print This Post

Only 19 percent of Filipinos say they are willing to have themselves vaccinated

While the Philippines awaits the arrival of coronavirus vaccines necessary to tame the pandemic, a survey of the Octa Research Group showed a great number of Filipinos are still unwilling to have themselves vaccinated against the disease.

The survey, conducted from January 26 to February 1, 2021, showed that if a safe and effective vaccine were available during the polling period, the greatest number of respondents at 46 percent said, “I will not have myself vaccinated.”

The survey released on Wednesday night, February 24, also found that only 19 percent of respondents said they would have themselves vaccinated, while 35 percent said “can’t say” if they will have themselves vaccinated.

The Octa team based findings on face-to-face interviews with 1,200 Filipinos aged 18 years old and above. It has a 95 percent confidence level with a +/-3 percent margin of error.

Safety top concern

Among those unwilling to get vaccinated, the survey found the respondents’ top 3 reasons for refusing a vaccine were the following:

“Not sure if it is safe” (73%)

“Not sure if vaccine is effective” (29%)

“A vaccine is not needed to combat COVID-19″ (9%)

Concern about the safety of a vaccine was higher in Mindanao (78%) and Balance Luzon (76%) compared to Metro Manila (69%) and the Visayas (64%). Along with this, concern about vaccine effectiveness was highest in the Visayas (46%), followed by Metro Manila (34%), Mindanao (27%), and Balance Luzon (21%).

Aside from this, 6 percent of survey respondents said they would not have themselves vaccinated as the vaccine “might not be free,” while another 6 percent said they would not get vaccinated because it “might be costly or expensive.”

The survey found class D (74%) and E (73%) were more concerned with the safety of vaccines compared to class ABC (46%). It was the reverse for concern over efficacy of vaccines with class ABC (33%) reporting the highest concern about this as compared to class D (28%) and E (29%).

For respondents who would reject a vaccine, disapproval was highest among class D, with 46 percent of the respondents saying they would not have themselves vaccinated. This was followed by class ABC at 45 percent and class E at 44%.

Balance Luzon and the Visayas also recorded the highest percentage of those unwilling to get a vaccine at 47 percent each, followed by Metro Manila and Mindanao at 43 percent each.

Vaccine acceptance was highest among class ABC and E (23 percent each), while class D was slightly lower at (18%).

Of the 35 percent of respondents undecided about the vaccine, uncertainty was highest in Balance Luzon (39%), while Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao were “almost at par” at 31%, 33%, and 32%, respectively. Among those undecided, 32 percent were from class ABC, 36 percent from class D, and 33 percent from class E.

Low trust in China vaccines

The Octa survey found only 1 in 10 or 15 percent Filipinos trusted vaccines coming from China, while 4 in 10 (41%) trusted those coming from the United States.

In between these, 25 percent said they trusted vaccines coming from the United Kingdom, followed by 20 percent from Russia, and 17 percent if coming from India.

The 5 countries cover a portfolio of at least 7 vaccine companies the Philippines has been in advanced negotiations with to purchase vaccines. This included Pfiser and BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson (Janssen Pharmaceutica), AstraZeneca, Sinovac, and the Gamaleya Research Institute.

Why this matters

The number of respondents both unwilling and reluctant to receive a vaccine underscores the challenges health officials still need to 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 immunisation rates of public vaccination programmes largely done among the indigent sector.

The Philippines so far has been the last in the Southeast Asia region to start rolling out vaccines, after paperwork and limited global supply delayed the delivery of doses secured in negotiations that started only sometime in November 2020.



Category: Philippines

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