SWS: Only 3 of 10 Pinoys willing to get COVID shots
MANILA, Philippines — Only three out of 10 Filipinos are willing to get COVID-19 shots with the rest either still hesitating or outrightly refusing to be inoculated two months into the vaccine rollout in the country, according to a survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The April 28 to May 2 poll found that 32 percent of adult Filipinos said they were willing to get vaccinated, 35 percent were uncertain and 33 percent were unwilling, SWS said in a report on Thursday.
The number of Filipinos willing to get vaccinated was smaller than the majority (51 percent) who said they had confidence in the government’s evaluation of the vaccines. Only 31 percent were uncertain and 17 percent had no confidence at all.
Afraid of side effects
The reason most cited by those uncertain about being vaccinated was their fear of possible side effects (39 percent). Others believe the shots are not safe or effective (21 percent) and that the vaccine might cause deaths (11 percent).
Thirty percent of those unwilling to get inoculated said they were afraid of side effects while 20 percent heard reports that it could be fatal. The others cited their old age or comorbidities (17 percent) and fears that the vaccine will make them sick or give them COVID-19 (11 percent).
In the last SWS survey on vaccine acceptance in September 2020, there were more Filipinos (66 percent) who said they were willing to get a shot “if it’s available now.”
The respondents this time were asked whether they would either “surely,” “probably be unsure,” “probably not” or “surely not” get inoculated with a free vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA has granted emergency use authorization for the vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac Biotech, Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute, Janssen, Bharat Biotech, and Moderna.
The last three vaccines are still unavailable since mass vaccinations began on March 1 using the Sinovac shots donated by China, According to the survey, 41 percent wanted to be vaccinated for “safety and protection” against COVID-19 while 30 percent said the jabs would keep them from being infected with the coronavirus.
The highest number of those willing to get the shots were college graduates (50 percent) followed by those who finished junior high school (34 percent), grade school (25 percent), and those who did not graduate elementary school (25 percent).
By geographic area, Metro Manila had the highest number of people willing to be inoculated (41 percent) followed by Mindanao (34 percent), the Visayas (32 percent), and Luzon outside the national capital (28 percent).
SWS polled 1,200 respondents in face-to-face interviews. The survey has a sampling margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percent for national percentages, plus-or-minus 6 percent for Metro Manila, Luzon outside Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao.
—ARIANNE SUAREZ, INQUIRER RESEARCH
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