DOH: Surveys show COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy centered on safety, efficacy
MANILA, Philippines — Most of the concerns of those who are hesitant to get COVID-19 vaccine shots are centered on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday, citing two surveys.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH has conducted an online survey with over 43,000 respondents across all priority groups to ask the reasons why they were hesitant to get vaccinated.
“Lumabas sa survey na ‘yan ang top three reasons on why hesitant sila magpabakuna: Una ‘yung possible na maging epekto sa kanilang katawan o ‘yung adverse events. Pangalawa, because of this negative information that they hear circulating especially from social media platforms, and the third is hindi nila iniisip na epektibo itong mga bakunang ito,” she told an online press briefing.
(The survey showed the top three reasons why they are hesitant to get vaccinated: First, they are afraid of the possible adverse events. Second, because of the negative information they see on social media. Third, they don’t think that these vaccines are effective.)
Vergeire noted that another survey by the Social Weather Stations has shown that some people are doubtful about the safety of vaccines and are concerned about the different efficacy rates depending on brands.
She said the DOH evaluates the results of these surveys and focuses its vaccine education on concerns raised during the polls.
Nevertheless, Vergeire reiterated that non-serious adverse events following immunization (AEFI) are expected and are “natural” and “normal” to happen.
According to the official, non-serious AEFI happened to only 1.10 percent of all the 5.1 million Filipinos who had been vaccinated. Serious adverse events, meanwhile, compose only 0.014 percent of those vaccinated.
She added that there was no proof that the deaths of a few vaccine beneficiaries were connected to the vaccines themselves. She said they died because of diseases that they already had prior to vaccination.
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