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SWS poll: More than half of Filipinos prefer vaccines from USA

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
SWS poll: More than half of Filipinos prefer vaccines from USA
A health worker shows syringes filled with Pfizer vaccine as they administer the first dose to those belonging to A1 (medical frontliners), A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (persons with comorbidity) categories during their continuation of vaccination program for San Juaneños at FilOil Flying V Centre (San Juan Arena) on May 12, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — More than half of adult Filipinos choose the United States of America as their preferred source of coronavirus vaccines, new survey results suggest. 

In its national survey conducted April 28 to May 2, the Social Weather Stations found that 63% of Filipinos preferred vaccines that came from America, while 39% and 33% of Filipinos preferred brands Sinovac Biotech and Pfizer-BioNTech, respectively.

The US is a treaty ally and former colonizer of the Philippines.

The May 2021 survey asked the following questions: 

  • “If you could choose the country of origin of the vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Philippines, which of the following would you choose?”
  • “If you could choose the brand of vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration of the Philippines, which of the following would you choose?”
     
    • Respondents were shown 10 origins in random order and were allowed more than one answer for vaccine origin.
    • Respondents were provided with a list of 10 FDA-approved vaccines, presented in random order, and were allowed to choose more than one for vaccine brand.

"Seventy-six percent of those who chose China as their preferred source also chose Sinovac Biotech...For the rest of the countries tested in the survey, brand preferences showed no clear connection with the country of origin," SWS' report read. 

The First Quarter 2021 Social Weather Survey interviewed 1,200 Filipino adults aged 18 years old and above face-to-face around the country and yielded sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages and ±6% for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

Why does this matter?

  • Vaccine hesitancy remains a problem in the Philippines, whose president insists that achieving herd immunity is the only way out.
     
  • A 2018 study of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine noted that the country’s “highly-politicized response” to the reported risks posed by Dengvaxia has eroded overall public trust in immunization.
     
  • An earlier Social Weather Stations survey found that only 51% of Filipinos expressed confidence in the COVID vaccination program of the government. 
     
  • These survey results come in the middle of government efforts to withhold brand information from those already willing to be vaccinated. This, they said, was to avoid the mass gatherings of people who are after a particular brand of the coronavirus jabs.

At the time of the survey, over 7 million Covid-19 vaccines have been delivered to the Philippines.

Most of these vaccines are China’s Sinovac (about 5 million), followed by United Kingdom’s Oxford-AstraZeneca (about 2.5 million) and Russia’s Gamaleya Sputnik (about 30,000).

Program doesn't inspire confidence

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr earlier said that the government is targeting the vaccination of essential workers and indigent Filipinos by next month as more vaccine supplies arrived in the country in the past days.

However, Galvez at the coronavirus task force's regular addresses continues to present only the country's total doses administered, under which the country is top 5 in Southeast Asia.

As of the DILG's latest update the country's vaccination numbers include:

  • As of mid-May, 7,149,020 out of 7,779,050 COVID-19 vaccine doses were already deployed to vaccination centers nationwide.
  • Of these, 3,001,875 vaccine doses have been administered; 2,282,273 were given as a first dose while 719,602 doses were used for the second dose.

Per Our World in Data, though, the Philippines is among the worst countries in the world when it comes to vaccinating people per population. 

 

COVID-19 COVID-19 VACCINATION NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
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