SWS: Just half of Filipinos trust gov't COVID vaccination program | Inquirer News
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SWS: Just half of Filipinos trust gov’t COVID vaccination program

/ 10:13 PM May 20, 2021
Vaccination program

Mass COVID-19 vaccination at the Makati Coliseum. Image from Facebook / MyMakati

MANILA, Philippines — Only half of Filipinos have expressed confidence in the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program, polling firm Social Weather Stations (SWS) said in a recent survey.

In a survey released Thursday, SWS said that 51 percent of Filipino adults trust the program, consisting of 18 percent who are very confident and 34 percent who are somewhat confident.

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The remaining 31 percent are uncertain, while 17 percent are not confident – 12 percent are not confident in some way and five percent are not confident at all.

Only 58 percent of those who had confidence in the current program were willing to get vaccinated.

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“The percentage of those willing (surely or probably) to get vaccinated is 58% among those very confident, versus 38% among those somewhat confident, 18% among those of uncertain confidence, 20% among those somewhat not confident, and 11% among those not at all confident, about the government’s evaluation of the vaccines,” SWS said.

Aside from this, SWS asked respondents during the April 28 to May 2 interviews whether they would be willing to have themselves vaccinated against COVID-19 if a free and Food and Drug Administration-approved vial is allotted for them.

However, less than a third of the respondents said that they were willing.

“To this, 32% say they are willing (consisting of 23% surely and 9% probably), 35% are uncertain about it, and 33% are unwilling (consisting of 7% probably not and 26% surely not) to get vaccinated,” SWS said.

For those who said that they were willing to get shots against COVID-19, the top reason was safety and protection (41 percent) and to avoid the disease (30 percent).

Meanwhile, those who are not sure and those who do not want the vaccines said that they fear the possible side effects, and that it might not be safe and effective.

“Among those who are uncertain about getting vaccinated, 39% cited reasons related to I’m afraid of the possible side effects, followed by 21% It’s not safe and effective, 11% I might die/I heard reports of fatality, 11% I’m afraid/I don’t trust the vaccine, and 11% I have comorbidity/I’m too old,” SWS said.

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“Among those who are unwilling to be vaccinated (% who will probably not/surely not get the Covid-19 vaccine), 30% gave reasons related to I’m afraid of the possible side effects, followed by 20% I might die/I heard reports of fatality, 17% I have comorbidity/I’m too old, and 11% I might get sick/I might get Covid-19,” it added.

Vaccines have become a focal point of discussions recently, as the government is looking at implementing a “brand agnostic” style of vaccinations where brand names would not be revealed to people.

The plan came after crowds swelled to avail of the Pfizer vials, which has been the more preferred brand by a lot of Filipinos.

Still, it appears that vaccine confidence is still not improving — and may have taken a dip, if past SWS surveys would be considered.

Last November 2020, SWS said that 66 percent of Filipinos have expressed willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19, should vaccines become available.  During that time, vaccines were confined to countries which housed pharmaceutical companies producing the vials.

In terms of other polling firms, a Pulse Asia survey last March said that 61 percent of Filipinos are not willing to be vaccinated, with safety still being the top concern.

According to SWS, the first quarter surveys for 2021 was done by doing face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults, subdivided into 300 each from Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao.

SWS says it maintains sampling error margins are ±3% for national percentages and ±6% for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

RELATED STORIES:

‘Brand agnostic’ vaccination eyed after big Pfizer crowd 

LGUs no longer allowed to disclose vaccine brands in advance – DILG 

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