61% of Pinoys say no to vaccines; safety concerns cited top reason — Pulse Asia
MANILA, Philippines — Six in 10 Filipinos refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 despite the availability of vials, citing safety issues as their primary reason, a survey from Pulse Asia revealed on Friday.
According to a Pulse Asia survey, 61 percent of Filipinos would refuse to be immunized, while another 23 percent are uncertain whether they would get the injection.
At least 84 percent of respondents were opposed to vaccines, and 74 percent of those undecided doubted the vaccines’ safety as their primary concern. Furthermore, the polling firm noted that attitudes toward vaccinations remained consistent across regional and socioeconomic classes.
In contrast, only 16 percent said yes to getting vaccine shots.
“Around six in 10 Filipino adults (61%) do not want to get any COVID-19 vaccine — a sentiment shared by majorities across geographic areas and socio-economic groupings (56% to 63% and 59% to 68%, respectively),” Pulse Asia said in their report.
“Most of those not getting vaccinated (84%) and those who are still undecided about being vaccinated against COVID-19 (74%) point to uncertainty about COVID-19 vaccines as the primary reason to explain their disinclination to be given such vaccines. This is the majority opinion across areas and classes among those against vaccination (80% to 90% and 82% to 86%, respectively),” it added.
The numbers presented by Pulse Asia — obtained from surveys conducted between February 22 to March 3 — actually showed an alarming and worsening perception over COVID-19 vaccines: last January, the same research group showed that almost 50 percent of Filipinos do not want to be vaccinated even if the vials are free.
The top concern back then was also about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.
Vax not needed to fight COVID crisis
But aside from questions on the vaccines’ safety, some respondents believe that the COVID-19 vaccines are not even necessary to beat the pandemic.
According to the Pulse Asia survey results, six percent of each of the respondents who do not want vaccines and those undecided over them said that the vials are not needed to end the health crisis.
The same study revealed that for those who would want to get immunized, the top choices are the vaccines made by Pfizer (52 percent), followed by those from Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech (22 percent), and AstraZeneca (six percent.)
Currently, the country is pinning its hopes on the COVID-19 vaccines, particularly given the ongoing surge in the number of cases. The Department of Health (DOH) recorded 9,838 new infections on Friday, marking the fourth time in a week that the Philippines broke the record for new cases.
The government is often chastised for failing to resolve problems concerning the COVID-19 vaccine adequately. Much of the population also had reservations about the COVID-19 vaccine. Vice President Leni Robredo and her office have repeatedly urged the government to implement an effective outreach strategy to reassure Filipinos that vaccines are safe.
However, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that the government was already implementing Robredo’s recommendations before she made them. In response, Robredo’s camp asked the administration why vaccine approval rates have been so poor across several survey channels.
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